Serbia thinks Pink to lure int’l prod’n

Venue, tax breaks tout area; Mayhem preps scary slate

Serbia is pitching itself as the latest Eastern European mecca for cut-price filmmaking with the launch of the $20 million Pink Film Studios outside Belgrade.

The complex is being built by Pink Films Intl., a joint venture between Serbian media group Pink Intl., London-based film financier Grosvenor Park and Washington, D.C., lobbyist OCo Intl.

PFI has been created to provide production services in Serbia and Montenegro. It has entered a partnership to co-produce five horror films under the brand name Midnight Mayhem, inspired by the 1950s creature features of Sam Arkoff’s American Intl. Pictures.

Arkoff’s son Lou is one of the partners in Midnight Mayhem Prods., along with Craig Baumgarten, Mike Marcus and Buddy Epstein. The five new movies — “Voodoo Women,” “The Undead,” “The She Creature,” “Blood of Dracula” and “The Brain Eaters” — will shoot in early fall, budgeted at $5 million apiece.

Family planning

“These new films will follow the same principles that my father brought to his productions, that is, finding and developing new, cutting-edge directors and onscreen talent much the same way as he worked with now-classic directors as Martin Scorsese, Peter Fonda, Brian De Palma and Jack Nicholson,” Lou Arkoff said.

These projects will benefit from Serbia’s new film tax break, rebating 20% of film production expenditure within the country. Also, Serbia is about to join the European Convention of Co-Production.

The Midnight Mayhem movies will be released in the U.S. by new distrib Monterey Entertainment, whose head of marketing and distribution is Andrew Fogelson.

“The first film is scheduled to be in U.S. theaters in late October 2005, with a projected print release of between 700 and 1,000 prints,” Baumgarten said.