Los Angeles – (19 JANUARY 2012) – Producer Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Films and Geyer Kosinski’s Media Talent Group have announced their formation of a $120 million fund to develop and produce up to six motion pictures in the United States over the next two years.
Rodnyansky and Kosinski have already produced two films. The first, JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR, is co-written by Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, directed by Thornton and stars an ensemble cast including Thornton, Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson and Ron White. It will make its world premiere in competition at the Berlinale on February 13. The second film, THE GOATS (working title), is directed by DJ Caruso, who also adapted the classic young adult novel for the screen. THE GOATS stars Chandler Canterbury, Annalise Basso, Val Kilmer and Radha Mitchell.
AR Films was founded by Rodnyansky in 2009. Through AR Films, Rodnyansky controls one of the biggest film licensing and distribution corporations in Central and Eastern Europe, A-Company; the Russian film production company Non-Stop Production; a major distributor of independent films in Russia, Cinema Without Frontiers; and the most important film festival in Russia, Kinotavr.
Rodnyansky, a renowned documentary director, is also one of the most successful movie producers in Russia. His films have received critical acclaim from the leading international film festivals; the latest – ELENA, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev — received a Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard, as well as more than a dozen international awards, and will screen in the Spotlight section at Sundance 2012.
Geyer Kosinski’s Media Talent Group is a talent management, film and television production company that has been involved with more than 30 movies and TV shows since its inception seven years ago.
Stated Rodnyansky, “I have always respected the voice of the filmmaker in telling stories that resonate with people, and I look forward to continuing to develop projects that have a unique voice, as AR Films reaches out to American audiences and those around the world.”
Kosinski added, “There is a void in the movie industry today that we hope to fill with intelligent, character-driven films in a variety of genres, made within responsible budgets. I look forward to continuing to work with Alexander and the AR team, as well as the gifted writers, directors and actors who are interested in telling compelling stories.”
WME Global reps Rodnyansky.
EXCLUSIVE: Cross Creek Pictures has stepped up to finance A Walk Among the Tombstones, an adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel that seemed to have been put to rest more than a decade ago. DJ Caruso is in discussions to direct a script by Scott Frank. It is one of two pictures Caruso is considering for his next film. The other is Preacher, the John August-scripted film for Sony Pictures and producer Neal Moritz.
Double Feature partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing with Danny DeVito and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver. Shamberg, Sher and DeVito first got Frank to write a script while they were partners in Jersey Films. It had been set at Universal and once had Harrison Ford interested in playing Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic former cop who spends his retirement doing favors for friends, the kind that take him deep into the underbelly of New York City. In A Walk Among the Tombstones, a heroin kingpin’s wife is kidnapped and those kidnappers begin to send her back in pieces. The Scudder character was previously seen in 8 Million Ways To Die.
Billy Bob Thornton has set Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson to star with Thornton in Jayne Mansfield’s Car, the first dramatic feature that Thornton has directed since 2001′s Daddy and Them. The film is being funded by AR Films, whose principal, Alexander Rodnyansky, will produce with Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski. Production begins June 22 in Georgia.
Thornton, who co-wrote the script with frequent collaborator Tom Epperson, has been mobilizing the picture for a while and just locked his final cast. He has also set John Patrick Amedori to play a lead in the film. A comedy with dramatic overtone, it revolves around the culture clash of two families, from different continents, in 1969.
Rodnyansky is the founder of the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 and former CEO of CTC Media when it became the biggest independent publicly traded media conglomerate in Russia with five channels in three countries. He has produced over 20 TV series and 30 films including Elena, which received the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes last month. “I’ve started to look for opportunities in America, and this is definitely not a single picture strategy,” he told me. “When I read that script, I fell in love with it. I was a fan of Sling Blade and Billy Bob’s other movies. No matter where you are making movies, it’s all about the script.”