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Koch nabs first UK pre-buy

EXCLUSIVE: UK distributor plans saturation release for Hector and the Search for Happiness, also buys Magic Magic [pictured].

Koch Media is bolstering its UK release schedule with Simon Pegg comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness and Directors’ Fortnight thriller Magic Magic.

UK newcomer Koch is planning a 2014 saturation release for Hector, which marks the company’s first pre-buy for the UK.

Currently shooting in London, Canada, South Africa and Shanghai until late June, Pegg stars alongside Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Jean Reno and Stellan Skarsgard in the story of an eccentric London psychiatrist, embark on a global quest to find out whether happiness really exists.

The deal was done with the film’s producers.

Peter Chelsom directs, producers are Egoli Tossell Film and Screen Siren Pictures. Head Gear Films is a majority financier. Bankside handles international sales on the project, which was formerly with The Solution. UTA represents North American rights.

Also new to Koch’s slate is Sebastian Silva’s Sundance and Directors’ Fortnight entry Magic Magic in which a shy young girl, played by Juno Temple, mentally unravels during a holiday in a remote part of Chile.

Michael Cera and Emily Browning co-star in the feature, which is due for a wide theatrical release in August 2013.

Industry are keeping a keen eye on Koch’s progress as the company aims to establish itself in the UK and fill some of the gaps left by Momentum and Revolver’s exits form the market.

The outfit’s 2013 slate includes comedy Thanks For Sharing, comedy-drama Stuck In Love and thriller The Frozen Ground. Recent releases include Red Dawn and Arbitrage.

Craig McNicol, Koch Media’s managing director of Northern Europe, told Screen: “The acquisition of Hector and the Search for Happiness and Magic Magic is a fantastic coup for us. We are increasingly looking to secure films at pre-production level and earlier, so are excited by the proposition that Hector and the Search for Happiness offers. Like Hector, our other new acquisition Magic Magic has a fantastic cast and its selection for Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight proves that we have a film of exceptional quality. We look forward to introducing both films to a UK audience.”

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