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Mosaic, HBO team for 6 urban pix

Barber's Outkast-inspired project up first

Mosaic Media Group has signed a pact with HBO to produce a series of six urban-themed films for the pay cabler.

HBO Films will handle distribution of the films, which will be targeted for TV, although Mosaic says a theatrical component is still possible.

The films will likely air in latenight on HBO and represent a wide variety of genres, including comedy, drama and music-based projects.

Robert Guralnick, Mosaic’s president of production, said the idea for the series came out of Mosaic’s urban division.

“This day and age there are so many reasons not to make a movie, I wanted to find a way to give people creative freedom,” Guralnick said. “This latenight urban series just sort of took on a life of its own.”

Guralnick said he hoped to get all six projects rolling within the next six months and eventually run them on HBO on a weekly basis.

First up, Mosaic is talking to musicvideo helmer Bryan Barber about developing a modern musical inspired by hip-hop group Outkast’s upcoming album “SpeakerBox/The Love Below.”

Barber directed Outkast’s video for the song “The Whole World,” and has also helmed clips for artists such as ‘N Sync’s J.C. Chasez as well as Jermaine Dupree, Dr. Dre, Bow Wow and Queen Latifah.

“He’s been thinking about this musical with Outkast for a while,” Guralnick said. “This is his passion project.”

Guralnick said he was also talking to D.J. Pooh (“Fridays”) about developing a project for the series.

“I come from a background of making only big movies,” ex-Warner Bros. exec Guralnick said. “There’s a certain refreshing enthusiasm in all of this … I just think this whole area of filmmaking is the new frontier.”

Mosaic, which was formed in 1999 by the merger of Atlas Entertainment and the Gold/Miller Co., has produced features such as “Scooby Doo,” as well as the upcoming sequel “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” and Matt Damon/Heath Ledger vehicle “Brothers Grimm.”

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