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AFM: Woody Allen, Bill Condon Pics on FilmNation’s Block

Glen Basner’s shingle formally joins AFM for the first time this year

Five-year-old FilmNation Entertainment — a key player in the independent sales-financing-producing world — is officially part of the American Film Market for the first time.

FilmNation will be selling international markets for a quartet of projects — Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight”; Alejandro Amenabar’s “Regression,” which the Weinstein Co. has bought; Bill Condon’s Sherlock Holmes tale “A Slight Trick of the Mind,” starring Ian McKellen; and Anton Corbijn’s “Life,” starring Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson.

In the past AFM, FilmNation execs still conducted meetings at AFM as it saw steady growth while acting as a producer, financier and sales agent. For CEO Glen Basner, it makes sense to formally be at AFM this November as the major studios continue to cede mid-budget and specialty films to the indie sector. Buyers, he said, have grown more discerning.

“If you have a film that people want to see, you can do terrific business,” Basner noted recently. “But you have to hit the bull’s-eye. The second and third rings on the bull’s-eye don’t exist any more — and it used to be that you could do business on those.”

Video on demand and other digital platforms have started to make up for the decline in DVD business, Basner said.

“But the same rules apply,” he noted. “With VOD the world is demanding that they only to see the good ones.”

He’s delighted to have Amenabar and Allen on board.

“We have worked very hard to create an environment for great filmmakers where they can operate independently in the creative and financial sense,” Basner added. “This fits in with Malick, Soderbergh, Nichols, Almodovar.”

He’s thrilled over selling a Woody Allen movie for the first time.

“That’s a little bit extra special,” Basner added. “We don’t know the plot. Woody works in a special world; he does not provide the screenplay. The good news is that it doesn’t really matter, not the way he’s been delivering films in recent years.”

The movie takes place in southern France and stars Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone and Jacki Weaver.

FilmNation made two announcements on the eve of AFM — it is financing and handling international sales of “Tokyo Vice” with Daniel Radcliffe starring as journalist Jake Adelstein; and selling international markets on action comedy “American Ultra,” starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg.

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