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Park is the place

Amritraj shingle ups prod'n while closing

Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment has been active on the Croisette this year, sealing international distribution deals for a handful of pics, including “Premonition,” “Asylum” “Trade” and “Death Sentence.”

This year’s fest marks the one-year anniversary of Hyde Park Intl. — announced at last year’s Cannes — and is Hyde Park’s first time on the Croisette since it inked its five-year, first-look production deal with 20th Century Fox.

Amritraj told Variety that Hyde Park is in the process of stepping up production from two to three films a year to four to five, and that he’s looking to become involved in more European and Asian productions.

“It’s been an extremely successful market and much better than expected,” he said. “I think there was an appetite this year for bigger movies.”

Besides sales, the Cannes trip also produced early buzz on “Trade” and another Hyde Park pic, “Penelope,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Hayden Christensen. The pics are being considered for the upcoming Venice and Toronto film fests.

“Premonition,” which stars Sandra Bullock and Julian McMahon, and is a Hyde Park production for TriStar and MGM, was sold in all major territories. RCV took Benelux; Entertainment Film Distributors took the U.K.; and TF1 is handling distribution in France. Pic unspools Stateside on March 9.

“Asylum,” directed by David R. Ellis (“Snakes on a Plane”) was also sold in all major territories, while three U.S. mini-majors have been bidding for North American distribution.

Director James Wan’s “Death Sentence,” which is being distribbed Stateside by Fox, also locked up international distrib deals on the Croisette, as did “Trade,” being produced by Roland Emmerich and distribbed in the U.S. by Lionsgate.

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