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Content, Image to partner for pix

Combined label will be created as part of pact

After recently calling off a planned merger with First Look Media, London- and Gotham-based indie banner ContentFilm has struck an alliance with U.S. DVD distributor Image Entertainment to co-produce up to four theatrical films per year.

A combined label will be created as part of the pact. Pics will be produced by ContentFilm and distributed in the North American home entertainment market by Image. Sales arm ContentFilm Intl. will rep overseas rights.

“These are theatrically intended films,” ContentFilm co-CEO John Schmidt said. “When we decided not to pursue the First Look merger, we asked, ‘How do we pursue the video strategy we had in mind?’ And Image was truly the No. 1 choice.”

Added co-CEO Ed Pressman: “This agreement will build both our library and Image’s as we find new and talented young directors and hopefully unearth some franchise opportunities.”

In addition to producing films to drive the deal, ContentFilm will seek to acquire completed pics for Image to distribute in the video marketplace.

“Given the strength of demand for modestly budgeted, high-concept, genre-based feature films, we are confident that the strength of the retail market will support our ambitions,” said Image prexy-CEO Martin Greenwald .

The first project under the deal is expected to be announced shortly.

In March, ContentFilm merged with U.K.-based Winchester Entertainment.

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