Expanding overseas, Edward Noeltner’s Beverly Hills-based sales and financing house Cinema Management Group (CMG) is disembarking in Europe, creating the Paris-based CMG Europe.
CMG prexy Ed Noeltner will transfer to Paris to head up company operations from there for at least much of the year. CMG Europe was established officially as a French company last week.
The move in a way is a product of globalization: the dramatic build of ambitious local industries around the globe that have called on CMG to take their films beyond their national borders.
Also working with established production hubs – at Berlin having sold animated feature “Saving Santa 3D”and heist thriller “Plastic,” CMG will premiere the Terry Stone-produced “The Messenger” by BAFTA award-winning director David Blair, with Robert Sheenan, Lily Cole and Joely Richardson — CMG has increasingly acquired world sales rights on a slew of animated features and live-action films from international territories and served as an executive producer on a clutch, such as two South African 3D toon pics, “Adventures in Zambezia” and “Khumba.”
Particularly in animation, it has carved out a reputation as one of the sector’s leading sales agents for family-friendly toon fare from around the world.
“Adventures in Zambezia,” “Khumba’”and the U.K. production “Saving Santa” have a combined global theatrical box office of over $70 million, Noeltner said.
CMG Europe looks set, however, to see CMG go a step further, also stepping in as a French co-producer on select projects. First up is Richard Claus and Karsten Kiilerich’s “The Little Vampire – 3D,” where CMG Europe will co-produce with Germany’s Studio Rakete (“The Congress,” “Niko”) and Netherlands’ A. Film (“Asterix and the Vikings,” “The Ugly Duckling & Me”).
“The Little Vampire” will be CMG’s first co-production.
“Being in an international time zone, being able to meet easily people from the U.K., and continental Europe will enable us to source many more projects,” Noeltner told Variety.
“One way we can become more competitive is for Cinema Management Group to become a co-producer or co-financier on projects. Holding part of the negative is a step which can allow us to be more profitable in the long term,” building up a rights catalog, he added.
As French productions, CMG Europe’s movies would also qualify for French and European quotas in France, facilitating their sale to French broadcasters.
CMG will continue to target productions in Latin America. At Berlin, it will sell Juan Pablo Buscarini’s live-action family adventure film “The Games Maker 3D,” which premiered at Sundance. It is also collaborating with Bruno Barreto on a follow-up to his “Reaching to the Moon,” which CMG sold, and which is written by Barreto and Matthew Chapman (“Runaway Jury”). CMG is also initiating sales on “Liz in September,” from Venezuelan Camera d’Or winning director Fina Torres.
CMG is also selling Canadian production “Ratchet & Clank,” based on the Sony PlayStation vidgame, and “Born to Dance,” from Tammy Davis (“Ebony Society”), now in post-production. It will certainly not abandon U.S. movies, bringing to Berlin “Operator,” which it picked up a couple of weeks ago. It’s an action movie now in post starring Luke Goss, Mischa Barton and Ving Rhames.