HBO London adds Lumet, Martel pix

Full slate, including 'Search,' 'Girl,' confirmed Friday

HBO Films London has added “Strip Search,” a film from helmer Sidney Lumet, “Oz” creator Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, and made it’s first acquisition — “The Holy Girl,” from Argentine helmer Lucrecia Martel.

HBO Films prexy Colin Callender confirmed a full slate of projects and introduced newly ensconced co-managing directors Penny Wolf and Rosa Bosch at the Majestic on Friday morning.

Callender stressed the importance of the new London operation, pointing out that “having Penny and Rosa in London makes a big statement because we’re operating from inside the European market, not as outsiders.”

“Strip Search,” described as a series of interwoven stories exploring crime and punishment in post-9/11 America, starts shooting in July with cast announcements “imminent,” according to Callender. It reps helmer Lumet’s first feature since the 1999 remake of John Cassavetes’ “Gloria.” Fontana will pen, with Levinson, Fontana and Jim Finnerty producing.

The acquisition of “Holy Girl” reps a continuation of Bosch’s long-time business associations with Pedro and Augustin Almodovar’s Spanish production outfit El Deseo and marks the follow-up to Martel’s film “The Swamp.” Pic is described as a coming-of-age story revolving around a young girl’s struggles with religion.

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