LONDON — The new Paramount Pictures Intl. has struck a three-year first-look deal with Zilli Films, which has the exclusive license to make movies under the MTV Films Europe label.
It specializes in low-budget, local-language features that target the teen and young adult demographic.
Run by Jonathan Zilli in Los Angeles and Bobby Allen in London, the company co-produced “Dirty Sanchez: The Movie,” a spinoff from an MTV series in the U.K., and German pic “Cutting Edge.”
“They have established great relationships with producers, directors and writers throughout the European film community,” said Paramount Pictures Intl. prexy Andrew Cripps. “This agreement is a huge step forward in our plans to be more aggressive in the local content business.”
Par launched its own foreign theatrical arm this month after the downsizing of United Intl. Pictures, its joint venture with Universal.
Studio chairman Brad Grey and Par-based producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura attended a launch party Monday night at London’s Royal Academy to support Cripps and his team.
“Paramount has solidly entered the global arena and will be a dynamic player in the worldwide marketplace, including an aggressive launch into regional production and local acquisitions,” Grey said.
Cripps also announced that Par has picked up U.K., French and Spanish rights to Bille August’s “Goodbye Bafana,” which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival next month.
Event featured a screening of footage from upcoming Paramount pics including “Transformers,” “Shooter” and “Stardust,” whose director Matthew Vaughn gave a speech welcoming Par’s commitment to British production.