Veteran TV exec Stephen Garrett is leaving the Shine Group later this year. He is currently Chairman of Kudos, one of the UK’s leading indies, which he co-founded two decades ago and which was acquired by Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine in 2007. The company’s recent credits include Broadchurch, The Hour and Vicious. Garrett is also leaving his post as Executive Chairman of Shine Pictures. Under his stewardship, that feature division has made such titles as Eastern Promises, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Upcoming projects, including the Gregory Burke-penned Blowback, will be led by Shine Pictures’ Head of Film Ollie Madden. Together, Shine Pictures and Kudos are currently co-producing feature Spooks: The Greater Good which Garrett is producing with Madden and Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone.
European Court Rules Today That Selling Movie/TV Rights Country-By-Country Violates Spirit Of Single European Market
This morning’s decision by the European Court Of Justice in Luxembourg could derail the way that most independent films and TV shows are financed now and end the pre-selling territorial rights upfront. That’s because the court ruled that selling movie and TV rights country-by-country goes against the spirit of the single European market. It could also mean that Hollywood studios may only be able to sell Europe-wide pay-TV licences for movies, rather than striking deals with individual broadcasters. The ECJ said that this exclusive system of licences is “contrary to EU law” as the whole thrust of the European Union is to encourage the single market.
The European court also ruled that there is nothing to stop viewers from paying for cheaper pay-TV movie and sports channels beamed in from elsewhere in Europe. From now on, they will not have to pay BSkyB in the UK or Canal+ in France but could buy cheaper. “On the face of it, this is bad news for Big Content,” one TV analyst tells me.
UPDATE 2, 7:03PM: CBS Films has just issued a press release confirming the acquisition:
TORONTO (September 12) – CBS Films announced today that they have acquired the U.S.distribution rights to SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN which made its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival this week. The announcement was made jointly today by CBS Films’ COO Wolfgang Hammer and EV Pof Acquisitions Scott Shooman.
Directed by Oscar©-nominee Lasse Hallström (Chocolat), SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN is an extraordinary, beguiling tale of fly-fishing and politicalspinning, of unexpected heroism and late-blooming love and of an attempt toprove the impossible, possible. Ewan McGregor (Beginners) and Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau) star in the feature film alongside Oscar©-nominee Kristen ScottThomas (I’ve Loved You So Long).
Based on Paul Torday’s acclaimed novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN is written by Oscar©-winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and produced by Paul Webster (The Motorcycle Diaries) and executive produced by Jamie Laurenson, Stephen Garrett, Paula Jalfon, Zygi Kamasa and Guy Avshalom.
“I am so happy to have the support of the team at CBS Films for the distribution of our labor of love, ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. ’I had the best of times working on it with producer Paul Webster, writer Simon Beaufoy and the cast, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Amr Waked and Kristin Scott Thomas,” said Hallström.
“Lasse Hallström has done it again with this beautiful, heartwarming, and elegant picture. The performances are amazing from top to bottom,” commented Shooman who continued, “We are honored to have the opportunity to bring this extraordinary film to American audiences.”
UTA Independent Film Group set up the film’s financing and brokered the dealwith CBS Films.
UPDATE, 6:11PM: The deal has closed, and CBS Films has acquired U.S. rights to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Sources close to the buyer say it’s the $4 million that the sellers asked for, while sources close to the seller say it’s $5 million. Summit got the deal to that level. What’s clear is this is a healthy deal.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 12:26 PM: CBS Films is in advanced negotiations to reel in U.S. distribution rights to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, the Lasse Hallstrom-directed film that premiered last night at the Princess of Wales Theater. Fox Searchlight, Summit, Focus and Miramax have been circling, but CBS appears to be tying down the property for a low-seven-figure deal. Adapted by Simon Beaufoy from the Paul Torday novel, the film stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The sheik believes that fishing brings him closer to God, an experience he wants to share with his countrymen, despite the dangerous fact that some local leaders oppose it; there is a burgeoning love story between his British legal rep (Blunt) and the stuffy fisheries scientist (McGregor) who is locked in a dull marriage.