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IFT debuts with first two titles

Further details have emerged on International Film Trust (IFT), the new sales company that Screendaily reported on exclusively last month. The first two titles to debut in Cannes will be King Of The Kastle and Exists.

Backed by Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures and D Todd Shepherd and George Waud of Miscellaneous Entertainment, IFT has brought in Cannes-bound president Ariel Veneziano and head of sales Christian De Gallegos, while industry veteran Peter Wetherell joins as head of operations.

IFT will handle sales of titles produced by Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment on a non-exclusive basis as well as third party product. It is understood that Killer Films, Richard Saperstein and Cassian Elwes will be among the feeder producers. The enterprise launches with an initial $15m acquisitions fund.

Alessandro Tanaka and Brian Gatewood wrote and will direct King Of The Kastle, a comedy to star Clive Owen as a philanderer blackmailed by a teenager. Jacki Weaver is also attached to star in the Benaroya Pictures production. Jonathan Gordon and Benaroya are producing and have earmarked an autumn start in Georgia, USA.

Exists is IFT’s first acquisition and is a horror-thriller directed by Eduardo Sanchez based on a screenplay by Jamie Nash about friends in the Texas woods who are stalked by the mythical Bigfoot.

The project is in post and marks the second co-production between Court Five and Haxan Films. Robin Cowie, Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky and Andy Jenkins produced and Reed Frerichs, Gregg Hale, George Waud and Shepherd served as executive producers. WME Global and Stuart Rosenthal at Bloom Hergott negotiated the deal for the producers.

Veneziano most recently served as president and CEO of Recreation Media and before that was president at Icon Entertainment International. He has served in executive roles at GreeneStreet Films International and Alliance Atlantis Communications.

De Gallegos arrives from Voltage Pictures where he served as vp of sales and distribution.

Wetherell has represented filmmakers and financiers for many year and formed Magus Entertainment in 1996 to provide senior advisory and executive producer services.

“As producers now acting as sales agents, we know what is the most important service to provide to our producing partners – reliable estimates and a sound distribution strategy,” said Benaroya.

“Having worked with Michael on Parts Per Billion we were kindred spirits in wanting to find a good partner to represent our films,” said Shepherd and Waud. “By launching IFT we have found a way to share our goals with other top producers in town and under Ariel’s guiding hand feel we have made the first step in the right direction.”

“The diverse and highly skilled pool of producers behind this exciting new operation has demonstrated a continued ability to attract fresh material and top talent, while maintaining responsible budgets – a perfect recipe to stand out in today’s demanding worldwide marketplace,” said Veneziano.

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