EXCLUSIVE: North American rights to Filipino Oscar entry Transit have sold to 7th Art Releasing, which will set a theatrical run for later this year. Stargate producer Dean Devlin‘s Electric Entertainment is still selling international on the Phillippines’ official 2014 Foreign Language Oscar entry which caught Devlin’s eye after a festival run last year. Hannah Espia makes her directorial debut with the Tagalog- and Hebrew-language drama about Filipino immigrants in Tel Aviv. Irma Adlawan, Ping Medina, Mercedes Cabral, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Marc Justine Alvarez star in the story of a domestic worker with an expired visa who tries to hide her half-Israeli daughter and her 4-year-old nephew who also risks deportation under the country’s immigration laws. Espia penned the pic with Giancarlo Abrahan. Paul Soriano and Ernest Escaler are producers. Sonia Mehandjiyska negotiated the deal for Electric Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers with Shane Griffin and Udy Epstein for 7th Art.
The $50M in corporate and production credit facilities Electric Entertainment announced this morning will give the company immediate access to capital in order to expand across its production, sales and distribution operations. The funds are made available by First Republic Bank. Headed by Dean Devlin, Electric is busy in both film and TV with several feature projects being repped here in Cannes by Head of International Distribution Sonia Mehandjiyska. It’s also currently shooting TNT series The Librarians which is due to air later this year and Devlin himself is in pre-production on his feature directorial debut Geostorm. “We needed a partner who understood the complexities of both television and feature film production as well as the knowledge of foreign sales to help structure debt facilities that best suits Electric’s expanding business and we found this with First Republic Bank,” said Jeff Gonzalez, Electric’s CFO. Electric’s Cannes slate includes SXSW debuts Kelly & Cal and Before I Disappear; the Terrence Malick-produced The Better Angels; John Slatttery’s God’s Pocket; and The Wannabe, exec produced by Martin Scorsese, Devlin and Traction Media with Patricia Arquette, Vincent Piazza and Michael Imperioli starring.
EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has taken all North American rights on SXSW Gamechanger Award winner Kelly & Cal, a first time feature by Jen McGowan. At the same time, Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has picked up all international rights and will sell the pic in Cannes. Juliette Lewis stars in the comedy/drama that was penned by Amy Lowe Starbin. Lewis plays Kelly, a former rocker who’s now a suburban mom nostalgic for a life she can no longer have and uncertain of a future where she doesn’t yet fit. Cal, played by Jonny Weston, is a 17-year-old frustrated at his lack of control over a recent life-altering incident. When the two strike up an unlikely friendship, it’s the perfect spark needed to thrust them both back to life. Cybill Shepherd also stars. Adi Ezroni and Mandy Tagger-Brockey of Spring Pictures are producers. Electric’s Head of International Distribution, Sonia Mehandjiyska, will shop the title this week while IFC is planning a North American release for later this year. “Juliette Lewis delivers a brilliant performance in Kelly & Cal and I think fans around the world will consider this one of the best roles she has played,” said Mehandjiyska. Marc H. Simon of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with Mehandjiyska for Electric and with Arianna …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Shine International Brings Digital Business In-House; Miso Film Orders Crime Drama ‘Acquitted’; More
Shine International Taps Kerry Ball As SVP Digital Business Development
Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group, is bringing its digital business in-house. The indie has appointed Kerry Ball to the newly created post of SVP Digital Business Development. Ball will lead digital sales strategy and manage day-to-day sales to digital and home entertainment platforms for Shine International represented properties. Prior to Ball’s appointment, the business was managed on a consultancy basis by Gordon Synn, who brokered VOD deals of The Hour to Amazon, multi-title agreements with Netflix, library deals with Hulu and an output partnership with China’s Youku Tudou. Synn will hand over to Ball when she takes over later this month. Ball will be based in London. She joins from Canada’s Stingray Digital, where she was VP for Europe. Prior to Stingray, she spent eight years at NBCUniversal. Shine International properties include The Bridge, Broadchurch, The Face and MasterChef.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Rising Star’ Heads To Greece, Ukraine; ‘Broadchurch’ Leads Royal Television Society Awards; More
‘Rising Star’ World Tour Continues In Greece, Ukraine
Keshet International’s interactive talent search format Rising Star has made further sales, heading to Greece’s Mega and Ukraine’s 1+1. Keshet says the deals make Rising Star the world’s fastest-selling talent show ever, according to researchers at the WIT. Since its launch at Mipcom in October, it has sold to more than 25 territories. Greece and Ukraine will launch their local versions later this year. 1+1 has made a multi-season deal beginning with a 15-episode first series to be produced by Studio Kvartal 95. Mega has commissioned an initial 14 episodes, with a local producer to be confirmed. The first international version of Rising Star will premiere April 6 on Globo Brazil. ABC’s U.S. version of the show will air in the summer and is available to buyers at Mip-TV as a finished 10 episode tape.
A long-gestating series offshoot from TNT‘s successful The Librarian original movies is inching closer to a green light as a 10-episode, straight-to-series at TNT. Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, which was behind the three Librarian movies, would be back as producer, partnering with the movies’ star Noah Wyle, who is in early talks to serve as an executive producer as well as reprise his role as Flynn Carsen in several episodes as he has a full-time job on TNT’s hit series Falling Skies. Also eyed to reprise their roles from the movies in guest starring/recurring capacity are Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin. Tentatively titled The Librarians, the proposed series would revolve around a group of younger men and women eager to become Flynn’s successor as the protector of secret artifacts. The green light for the series is cast-contingent, hinging on finding an actress for the lead role of a strong, ass-kicking woman. I hear the character is conceived as British, with actresses like Melissa George and Rhona Mitra as prototypes.
The directorial debut from Mad Men‘s John Slattery is going global with Dean Devlin‘s Electric Entertainment, which acquired international rights to the Sundance drama following its in-competition premiere last week. Slattery directs Mad Men co-star Christina Hendricks alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, and Caleb Landry Jones in the buzzy film about a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Slattery, who previously got behind the camera for episodes of Mad Men, adapted the pic with Alex Metcalf from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter (The Paperboy). Electric Entertainment won the title in Park City where Devlin was in hot pursuit following its world premiere, while IFC is taking U.S. rights.
God’s Pocket marks the first pickup for international for Electric Entertainment’s international sales division, which launched at AFM last year.
Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz executive produced the military thriller Boys Of Abu Ghraib, which Vertical Entertainment now plans to release in March 2014 after landing North American rights at AFM. Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment is handling international distribution and shopping the title this week in Santa Monica. Boys Of Abu Ghraib was written by Luke Moran, who made his directorial debut, produced and starred in the pic based on true events about a forbidden friendship between a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi detainee during the infamous torture scandal at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. Sean Astin, Sara Paxton and John Heard co-star. The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey on behalf of Vertical and Resolution on behalf of the filmmakers. Sonia Mehandjiyska negotiated the deal on behalf of Electric, which in Toronto tapped her to run the company’s new international sales division.
EXCLUSIVE: Dean Devlin‘s Electric Entertainment has acquired a new pair of feature projects, and I’ve learned the Independence Day producer will be directing one of them. As his second directorial effort, Devlin will helm Critical Hour, a pursuit action pic about a wounded hitman/whistleblower and two paramedics on the run from a cartel, from a script by Eric Tipton. Devlin, whose producer credits also include The Patriot and EP on the now-cancelled Leverage on TNT, is starting work on his feature directorial debut Geostorm from a script he wrote with Paul Guyot. As well as Critical Hour, Electric has picked up No Good Deed, a Brandon Boyce-penned thriller to be helmed by company exec Marc Roskin. Devlin, Roskin and Rachel Olschan are producing both projects. No Good Deed revolves around a pair of young valets who practice home burglary on the side. The two find themselves way out of their depth when they target the wrong house with a woman inside being held captive. Roskin is making his feature directing debut with the movie. Electric’s next project is The Wannabe, starring Patricia Arquette, Vincent Piazza and and Michael Imperiori and exec produced by Martin Scorsese.
Former Global Screen exec Sonia Mehandjiyska has been tapped to head the new international sales divison at Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. The outfit debuts at this week’s Toronto Film Festival and will work with Electric’s original productions as well as third-party film and TV content. The first project on the slate is The Wannabe, Nick Sandow’s film about a man obsessed with mob culture. Patricia Arquette, Vincent Piazza and Michael Imperioli are starring. Martin Scorsese will exec produce. Electric is fully financing and executive producing along with Traction Media. Full details follow:
EXCLUSIVE: Kearie Peak, COO of Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, will be departing the company where she has been for eight years. Peak was one of four key executives at Electric along with chairman and CEO Devlin, Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan. She was involved in transforming the company from a studio-based production entity to an full-fledged indie that is financing its series, including TNT’s Leverage, which is in pre-production on Season 5. Peak, who served as an executive producer on Leverage as well as a co-producer on Electric’s successful TNT movie franchise The Librarian, said that “the time is right to pursue other avenues” and thanked “Dean and everyone at Electric for an amazing run.” Said Devlin: “Kearie has played an important role in the evolution of Electric Entertainment. I’m grateful for her dedication to the company and wish her great success in her new endeavors.”
ION Television is adding a TNT drama to its mix of CBS and USA off-network shows. The network has acquired off-network rights to TNT’s drama series Leverage from Electric Entertainment. Leverage will begin airing on ION in summer 2012. Leverage, which has been renewed by TNT for a fifth season, has averaged more than 4.8 million viewers in Season 4, up 10% over last season, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (+6%) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (+9%).