Former Wild Bunch Distribution boss Jean-Philippe Tirel is joining forces with indie producer Maya Hariri and Orange Studio topper Frederique Dumas to fully-launch his new Paris-based acquisition vehicle, Selective Films.
Under the exclusive pact, Selective Films and Orange Studio, one of France’s deepest-pocketed players, will co-acquire all-rights to approximately five foreign movies a year, in most cases at script stage. Selective Films will then sell the rights to the best-matched distributor.
Tirel said Selective will work hand-in-hand with the distrib on the marketing strategy and will aim at co-distributing films. Tirel’s track record at Wild Bunch Distribution include the successful French release of U.S. independent movies like Tom Hopper’s Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech,” genre movies such as “Paranormal Activity,” and French arthouse pics like Valerie Donzelli’s “Declaration of War.”
Rolling off Toronto, Selective has made a first high-profile acquisition : Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer “Nightcrawler,” a dark-edged thriller directed by scribe-turned-helmer Dan Gilroy. Selective Films has already closed a deal with Paramount France which will roll out the movie in Gaul during the second half of 2014.
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Orange Studio (formely called Studio 37) is the film co-production and co-distribution arm of the telco company, Orange. Under Dumas’ leadership, Studio Orange has backed a wide range of films, from Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” to Alexandre Aja ‘s “Maniac.” The shingle’s slate of upcoming co-productions include “Paradise Lost” starring Benicio Del Toro as Pablo Escobar.
Maya Hariri, Tirel’s associate at Selective Films, previously produced Cesar-winning feature docu “When Pigs Have Wings,” and Lebanon-set drama “Under The Bombs.”
Repped by Sierra/Affinity, “Nightcrawler” toplines Gyllenhaal as Lou, a freelance cameraman who tracks down crimes in Los Angeles to feed TV news channels. Rene Russo and Bill Paxton also star.
“It’s an original, time-sensitive and inovative concept. It says something meaningful about the backlash effect of U.S. media outlets seeking to get the highest ratings with ever more sensationalist content,” said Tirel, adding that the character of Lou, played by Gyllenhaal, is reminescent of such cult American characters as Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in “The Night of The Hunter,” Edward Norton in Fight Club or Travis Bickle (Robert de Niro) in “Taxi Driver”
Set for an October lensing, the pic is being produced by Gilroy, Jennifer Fox (“The Bourne Legacy”), David Lancaster and Michael Litvak from Bold, and Gyllenhaal. Gary Michael Walters serves as exec producer.