Lionsgate and Televisa joint venture Pantelion Films is expanding its global brand, tapping Anne-Marie Ross as President of International. Ross is a 13-year veteran of Lionsgate, most recently serving as EVP of Sales overseeing several key European territories, Australia and Japan. Pantelion’s new international division will kick off its slate here in Cannes with the Sean McNamara-directed George Lopez starrer La Vida Robot. Marisa Tomei and Jamie Lee Curtis also feature in the film that’s based on the true story of four undocumented Mexican-American high school students who compete against MIT in a national underwater robotics competition. In addition to overseeing international sales of Pantelion’s own titles, Ross will rep third-party films for international sales and licensing. She will also work closely with Pantelion’s development and production teams to build a globally-focused slate. Pantelion launched in 2010. Its credits include Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S., as well as Pulling Strings, Casa De Mi Padre and From Prada to Nada.
Lionsgate’s Rob Friedman is losing an executive assistant but Pantelion Films is gaining a new Director of Production and Development. Auri Maruri has joined the Latino audience oriented company, Pantelion announced today. Charged with developing high concept comedies and family films, Maruri will report to Ben Odell, President of Production. The new exec will also work closely with CEO Paul Presburger on new co-production opportunities with Lionsgate. Previously Maruri was the executive assistant to Lionsgate co-chairman Friedman for 3 years. Pantelion was formed in 2010 with joint financial backing from Grupo Televisa and Lionsgate. Debuting last Fall, Pantelion’s Instructions Not Included has proved the highest grossing Spanish language film ever released in the U.S.
Pantelion Films and South Shore, the film and TV ventures of Lionsgate and Mexico’s Televisa, continue to build up their talent roster. The companies have signed a first-look film and TV deal with Wilmer Valderrama for him to develop, star in and produce feature projects for Pantelion as well as produce scripted and unscripted TV projects for South Shore. The pact expands the companies’ relationship with Valderrama, one of the stars of Pantelion’s first film, From Prada To Nada. (The company is currently riding the success of hit Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included.) The deal with Valderrama follows a similar deal Pantelion and South Shore inked last week with George Lopez and a pact with Zoe, Cisely and Marel Saldana’s Cinestar Prods. “Wilmer is a versatile acting and producing talent with strong crossover appeal to mainstream U.S. and Latino audiences,” said Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films and Managing Director of Televisa USA. Valderrama is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment.
Lionsgate & Televisa’s Pantelion Films And South Shore Ink Overall Film & TV Deal With George Lopez, Greenlight ‘La Vida Robot’
On the heels of the breakout success of Pantelion‘s Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included, the feature venture between Lionsgate and Mexican media giant Televisa as well the companies’ TV studio South Shore have signed an overall film and TV deal with top Latino comedy actor George Lopez. Lionsgate is already in business with Lopez with Saint George, a 10/90 comedy series at FX. The first project under the new agreement is Pantelion Films’ English-language feature La Vida Robot, starring and produced by Lopez, which is slated to begin production in mid-October in New Mexico. It is based on Joshua Davis’ Wired magazine story about four undocumented Mexican-American teenagers from Phoenix who form a robotics team and, with $800, used car parts and a dream, they build an underwater robot that wins the national robotics competition taking down reigning champion MIT. Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer) is directing from a script by Elissa Matsueda, with Lopez, Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert, Rick Jacobs, Travieso’s Leslie Kolins Small and Pantelion’s Ben Odell producing and Ron Bass co-producing. The TV slate includes comedies and an action drama in development with Stan Lee.