Joint Dendy Films toppers Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten have ankled to set up Transmission, an independent shingle aligned with Paramount Pictures Australia and New Zealand and geared to distribute about 10 arthouse pics a year.
Par also has inked a first-look deal with See-Saw Films, a new production venture from London-based ex-Becker Intl. topper Iain Canning and “Candy” producer Emile Sherman.
Dendy and Becker Intl. are part of the listed Becker Group, already shaken by a year of corporate uncertainty and fluctuating ownership.
Becker’s film divisions are up for sale, and they appear likely to be acquired by a consortium made up of U.S. cinema chain Reading, Mel Gibson’s Icon and former chief Richard Becker. Cinema topper Mark Sarfaty ankled in the middle of last year.
Company brass is aware of the trio’s decision to ankle but had not informed the Australian Stock Exchange by close of business on Wedneday.
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Mackie and Payten, who have worked together for 18 years, will co-manage Transmission and aim to include two or three domestic pics on their annual slate of crossover films suitable for release on 50-100 screens. The pair released “Becoming Jane,” “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “The World’s Fastest Indian” at Dendy and will continue to pursue similar titles.
See-Saw Films and Transmission will collaborate nonexclusively in supplying Par with pics for the Oz/Kiwi market.
Two Par acquisitions, Toa Fraser’s “Dean Spanley.” with Peter O’Toole and Sam Neill, and Viggo Mortensen starrer “Good,” directed by Vicente Amorim, will be released through Transmission.