Romeo And Juliet
Swarovski Entertainment, the film production arm of the 117-year-old jewelry company that gave sparkle to Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, is in Cannes talking up its debut feature. Romeo And Juliet, from a script by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, stars Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick, Paul Giamatti, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis and Lesley Manville. Shooting recently wrapped on the Carlo Carlei-directed film for which Camela Galano’s Speranza 13 Media is selling foreign rights and UTA and ICM are co-repping domestic. Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment are producers. The film is a classic adaptation and Fellowes assures Deadline he was not attempting to one-up the Bard by writing a transfer. “It wasn’t improving, it was clarifying and creating links for the audience,” he says. Swarovski Entertainment chairman and first-time exec producer Nadja Swarovski says the experience served as a “palette wetter” and that she’s eager to make more films, possibly with longtime friend Fellowes. ICM packaged the film and reps Swarovski, Steinfeld, Skarsgard and Manville. UTA reps Giamatti, Fellowes and Booth; Westwick and Lewis are repped by WME; McElhone is with Paradigm.

Partners Announce $150 Million Indie Fund
Financier and production company Angel World Entertainment and independent global merchant bank First Wall Street announced they have set up a $150M equity fund dedicated to financing quality independent productions. Fund was created to bridge the gap between producers and investors and support each with an uncomplicated structure allowing for a timely, single source of funding. AWE seeks to provide investors a lower risk and more transparent model for independent film, selecting projects with strong scripts, bankable cast and realistic budgets. AWE funds 100%, allowing the equity investor to sit in the first position, minimizing its risk by securing against all of the film’s assets including foreign sales, tax credits, minimum guarantees and intellectual property rights until the investor has fully recouped its money.

Crooked Arrows Gains Strategic Partners
Strategic Film Partners has boarded international rights to lacrosse drama Crooked Arrows. Brandon Routh stars as the coach of an underdog Native American team. Gil Birmingham, Crystal Allen and Chelsea Ricketts also star. It just went out Friday in limited release in the US via Branded Pictures Entertainment in conjunction with Freestyle Releasing and Pandemic Marketing. Steve Rash directed. J. Todd Harris and Mitchell Peck are producers.

Arab Cinema At Lincoln Center
The Dubai International Film Festival will partner with the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a special showcase of Arab cinema this summer. Running August 24-30, the DIFF Focus will include 10 features and a shorts program with Q&A sessions and panel discussions. Among the films selected are Habibi Rasak Kharban, a Gaza love story directed by Susan Youssef and supported by Enjaaz, DIFF’s post-production fund. All of the films have been supported by the DIFF via the Dubai Film Market.