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F&ME bring four to Cannes

EXCLUSIVE: London-based company have brought the first four features of their ten film $30m slate to Cannes.

Mike Downey and Sam Taylor’s Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) are in Cannes with the first four completed features of their 2014 slate.

The ten film $30m slate is led by Julien Temple’s Rio 50 Degrees, broadcasts today [May 18] on the BBC, and is sold in Cannes by Metro International Entertainment. Produced by Downey and Taylor, the film will broadcase on ARTE after its German theatrical release in June.

Downey commented: “The F&ME team have been working on the picture up until Friday afternoon to fine tune it for the Sunday broadcast, and the workd is a testament to the brilliant editing of Caroline Richards.

“The film has great chances of an international theatrical and festival life prior to settling down into ancillaries prior to the Olympic games.”

F&ME has also just delivered Ben Hopkins’ Welcome to Karastan to Stealth Media Group. The UK/Georgia/Russia/Germany co-production stars Matthew Macfadyen, Myanna Buring and Noah Taylor.

In April, F&ME completed shooting on The President [pictured] and is handled for international sales by Bac Films Distributions, who also act as French co-producer and distributor.

As with Welcome to Karastan, F&ME partnered in Georgia with Vladimer Katcharava’s 20 Steps Productions as well as the Caucasian Film Service. Germany’s Herzog and Brümmer co-produce, with co-financing coming from the Georgian National Film Centre and Eurimages.

Taylor announced: “We have decided to launch a joint venture with Vova Katchavara’s 20 Steps Productions and the Caucasian Film service to bring major international productions to the region, and activate our habitual reciprocal production policy by having F&ME co-produce with local Georgian directors.”

Also wrapped from F&ME’s slate is Streetkids United II - The Girls from Rio, the Brazilian follow-up to Streetkids United which was shot during the 2010 Durban Streetchild World Cup in South Africa.

The sequel is directed by Maria Clara Costa, with Total Filmes co-producing.

In terms of production, Srdjan Dragojevic’s The Porcupine will shoot in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Ukraine in October, while the long-gestating Cassy and Jude will shoot in early summer, directed by Marc Evans.

International sales on the latter are handled by BetaCinema, with funders including Film Agency Wales.

F&ME will also partner with Domenico Procacci’s Fandango on Anna Negri’s Con Un Piede Impigliato Nella Storia.

Also starting in 2014 is Konstantin Bojanov’s In Search of a Miracle, adapted from William Dalrymples’ book Nine Lives. The film had a pre-shoot in India in January and will be made in co-production with KinoElektron, Crescendo Films and Overdose.

F&ME are also partnering with Bojanov on his feature Like You, currently being written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

Other 2014 productions will include Miroslav Momcilovic’s Stinking Fairy Tale and Mark Dornford May’s Untitled Opera.

Co-productions just delivered or at the end of post production include the first-ever UK-Albanian co-production Amsterdam Express by Fatmir Koci, Darko Lungulov’s Momument to Michael Jackson (sold by Boutique Films), Srdjan Dragojevic’s Zero to Hero (WIDE Management), Alice Nellis’ Angels, Mark Dornford May’s UNOGUMBE and Igor Šeregi’s Present from President Nixon.

“2014 has started off busy and the results looking promising,” added Downey. “We are working with some of the most talented film-makers working in Europe today, but to succeed in the UK marketplace as an independent producer, it is still a volume game, both for fees and for the hit rate.

“Germany is a finance and talent powerhouse and a base there will complement our UK cornerstone financing tools, and a centre in Zagreb to complement our outpost in Georgia will allow us to access excellent facilities and services at a price that will put value onto the screen.”

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