×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

10 Producers to Watch: Dimitri Rassam

There have been many movies about the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the starting blocks for years but it took a Frenchman, Rassam, to deliver the first narrative feature about him in “Escobar: Paradise Lost.” Starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson, the film earned critical kudos at its Toronto festival preem in September.

In the past eight years, Rassam has succeeded in raising the financing for some of France’s biggest-budgeted English-language movies, such as “Upside Down” (estimated budget: $40 million) and the upcoming animated feature “The Little Prince” (budget: $77 million), directed by “Kung Fu Panda” co-helmer Mark Osborne with a voice cast that includes James Franco, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams.

Rassam, who launched ON Entertainment with his longtime associate Aton Soumache in January, is prepping a move to L.A. in March. “I already travel there 10 to 12 times a year, and I’m now really looking forward to immersing myself in the U.S. talent pool, cultivating ties with the American creative community, finding the right projects and expanding the company’s presence overseas.”

Even though he’ll be based in Los Angeles, Rassam says he aims to produce two to three French pics and one English-
language film a year.

“I’m attracted to director-driven projects like ‘Paradise Lost,’ which have an unusual point of view, can appeal to both U.S. and international audiences, with budgets ranging roughly between $20 million and $60 million that we can finance outside of the States,” says Rassam. “I want to get into movies that are not necessarily accessible if you’re not a studio, because in every territory you have strong local distributors that are eager to acquire that kind of high-profile international content.”

Rassam inherited a love of moviemaking from his family: he’s the son of producer Jean-Pierre Rassam and actress Carole Bouquet and nephew of producer-distributor Paul Rassam.

“My uncle Paul, who released movies such as ‘Into the Wild,’ ‘American Pie’ and ‘Dances With Wolves’ in France, is the greatest reason why I have a natural desire to be making movies in the U.S. and in France: I’ve seen him do that all my life— releasing French movies and American movies and being close to French and American filmmakers.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Steven Spielberg Branko Lustig

    'He Left Me Speechless': Steven Spielberg Remembers Branko Lustig

    Steven Spielberg has offered a touching remembrance of Branko Lustig, the Holocaust survivor who produced “Schindler’s List” with Spielberg and Gerald Molen and died Thursday in Croatia. “I was heartbroken to hear of Branko’s passing and my thoughts are with his family and friends,” Spielberg said. “When we first met to discuss ‘Schindler’s List,’ he [...]

  • Dylan Brosnan and Paris BrosnanGolden Globe

    Pierce Brosnan’s Sons Paris and Dylan Brosnan Named 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors

    Pierce Brosnan’s two youngest sons, Paris and Dylan Brosnan, have been named as the 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday evening. Paris and Dylan are also the sons of journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith. The ambassador(s), a title that typically goes to the son or daughter of a [...]

  • Joaquin Phoenix'Joker' film premiere, Arrivals, 57th

    Film News Roundup: Joaquin Phoenix Honored by Palm Springs Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Joaquin Phoenix is honored for “Joker”; Legion M backs Joe Manganiello’s “Archenemy”; sales have launched on “Lev Yashin: The Dream Goalkeeper”; Warner Bros. shuffles execs and Universal launches a first-of-its-kind animation writing program. HONOR Joaquin Phoenix has been selected as the recipient of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s chairman’s [...]

  • Danny Huston

    Danny Huston Discusses the Significance of 'Last Photograph'

    In the decades since Danny Huston made his feature directing debut with “Mr. North,” his 1988 film adaptation of the Thornton Wilder novel “Theophilus North,” he has kept busy in front of the cameras as one of film and television’s most versatile and sophisticated character players. In just the past year, small-screen viewers have been [...]

  • Rocketman

    'Rocketman': Chris Dickens Discusses the Inside Story of Editing 'I'm Still Standing'

    Endings are so important and how the viewer leaves the cinema is crucial. For editor Chris Dickens, finding the perfect ending for “Rocketman” was paramount, but it was also a challenge. Elton John’s hit “I’m Still Standing” was going to end the film with the original idea of going to Cannes to recreate the video [...]

  • A general view of the skyline

    United Media Asia Strikes Deal With Indonesian Giant Kompas Gramedia

    Newly-formed content finance, production and distribution company United Media Asia has struck a first look deal, brokered by Hollywood talent agency CAA, with Indonesian media giant Kompas Gramedia. United has also unveiled its first two feature films. The partnership provides UMA with access to Kompas Gramedia’s media network and its 100,000 pieces of intellectual property, [...]

  • Taron Egerton Fashion

    Taron Egerton's Stylist Used Elton John as Inspiration on Press Tour

    Showstopping looks: For Taron Egerton’s “Rocketman” tour, stylist Gareth Scourfield nodded to Elton John’s iconic wardrobe with bold colors, patterns and silhouettes: “We got a bit more eccentric.” May 16 “Elton is the real original showman,” says Scourfield, who met Egerton through another client, Egerton’s “Rocketman” co-star Richard Madden. “Part of Taron as a man [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content