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Romania's Paunescu launches new sales company

The Death of Mr Lazarescu and Aurora producer Bobby Paunescu has launched a new sales company, Mandragora International, which will handle both Romanian and international projects.

The Death of Mr Lazarescu and Aurora producer Bobby Paunescu has launched a new sales company, Mandragora International, which will handle both Romanian and international projects.

The company’s initial slate includes Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, in Cannes official selection, out of competition. Andrei Ujica’s film is produced by Velvet Moraru. “Ceausescu is a great project to start with,” Paunescu tells Screen. “It is a great, great project and we are so happy it’s in Official Selection.”

The company is also selling Paunescu-directed Francesca (produced by Puiu), which has been a festival hit after premiering in Venice Horizons 2009.

The company is incorporated in Paris, and industry Ronald Chammah will serve as managing director.

Director of sales is Berenice Vincent, who formerly worked at Celluloid Dreams. More members of the team will be added in the autumn. Paunescu is the majority shareholder.

Paunescu says moving into sales was a natural progression. Mandragora (the Bucharest-based production company he founded in 2004 with Cristi and Anca Puiu) was involved launching the new crop of Romanian auteurs. “Now there is already a market for Romanian films. It’s going to provide easier access to coproductions, so this is an important step and a natural step.”

The company will announce other new projects in pre-production, soon. “We will work with 5-6 films per year, try to keep that focused on films that we like. Everybody says the same thing but I think we will try to stay focused on this target,” Paunescu says.

As a director, Paunescu is also planning a Dublin-set drama with the working title of Cheap Labour. “Story of people from across Europe living in irland for last 10 years, it will be a very international cast,” he says.

The company’s Cannes office is located at 340 Palais Stephanie.

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