MONTREAL — Gotham-based Cinetic Media has pacted with new Canuck distrib Maximum Films to handle Cinetic films in Canada.
The three-year deal, unveiled Monday, is unusual for Canada, where output deals are usually with U.S. distributors. In this case, Maximum is gaining rights to films handled by a U.S.-based sales agent and will generally pick up the rights to Cinetic films before they receive U.S. distribution.
“It’s an interesting deal because it allows us to get money directly from Canada,” said Cinetic founder John Sloss. “Outside the studios, U.S. distributors don’t distribute directly in Canada. So if you can make the deal directly (with a Canadian company), it creates new opportunities. It creates a direct relationship, and the money doesn’t go to a third party.”
Sloss said he expects that most of the films handled by Cinetic will go to Maximum in Canada. Cinetic handles around 50 pics annually.
Sloss said the first titles under the deal will likely come from Cinetic’s Sundance slate.
“It’s equally good for both sides,” said Maximum Films chairman Robert Lantos. “Instead of buying films from U.S. distributors, we’re buying them directly from the filmmakers via John Sloss. It’s good for the filmmakers because it’s basically found money. And it provides us access at the source to a wide range of films.”
Lantos launched Maximum just before the Toronto Film Festival last month, and its Canuck release slate includes Toronto fest opener “Fugitive Pieces” (a Lantos production directed by Jeremy Podeswa), Kenneth Branagh’s “The Magic Flute,” Atom Egoyan’s “Adoration,” Santosh Sivan’s “Before the Rains” and Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” which is due in Canadian cinemas on Nov. 7.
Maximum also recently inked output deals with Magnolia Pictures (in a co-venture with Montreal-based distrib Seville Entertainment), IFC and Fortissimo Films.
Cinetic repped six pics at Toronto, including “Diary of the Dead” and “Bill.”