Backed by equity investors including Steve Samuels, New York-based FilmNation will serve as the exclusive international sales agent for Media Rights Capital (MRC) and Samuels' Samuels Media Group and has signed a non-exclusive multi-title deal with Endgame Entertainment.
Basner will leverage his deep ties with foreign distributors forged through years of service at Focus Features International and for the Weinsteins to fill what he referred to as 'a hole in the marketplace' with select commercial and specialty titles designed to suit individual buyers' needs.
'With Summit and Mandate becoming part of the North American distribution scene there's a need more than ever for a pure third party international sales company and I can fill that vacuum,' Basner said.
'The established companies have a need to board film after film after film and I want to get out of the volume business and operate with a consistent flow of product where every film is taken on the basis of its own merits. FilmNation's approach is that of a distributor, not merely a sales agent, and our job is to help create value for the films we work on.'
Joining Basner at FilmNation Entertainment are director of international sales Robert Carney, an internet and software sales expert who will also run point on technology initiatives, and sales coordinator Tara Err, with whom Basner worked at The Weinstein Company.
As part of FilmNation's agreement with MRC, Basner will sell the three films that are being produced under the Night Chronicles joint venture that MRC recently set up with M Night Shyamalan.
The first of these projects, the PG-13 title Devil, is set to go into production next year with 30 Days Of Night writer attached to write the screenplay and John Erick Dowdle, who co-directed the recent Screen Gems release Quarantine, set to direct. Shyamalan will conceive the stories and produce on all three titles under his deal with MRC.
'In an extremely challenging environment, we are working with some of the pre-eminent suppliers of quality films in the independent marketplace,' Basner said. 'This positions us to bring films to international distributors that will allow them to achieve great success - both commercial and critical. I cannot thank MRC, Samuels Media and Endgame enough for this incredible vote of confidence and support as we launch this exciting venture.'
He added: 'FilmNation's approach is that of a distributor, not merely a sales agent, and our job is to help create value for the films we work on. This benefits both the suppliers who own the IP and the distributors who can maximise profitability.'
'We have a wonderful working relationship with Glen and I couldn't be happier that it is going to expand and grow with this new venture,' Endgame CEO James D Stern said.
'In today's challenging environment, we need a sales company who is not just selling our films, but who is shepherding our projects all through the distribution process,' MRC's Modi Wiczyk said. 'Glen is the best in the business and we can't think of a better person to launch our films into the international marketplace.'
'I am a huge fan of Glen's and I think there is a real need for a new kind of international sales company where there is a strong focus on distribution,' Steve Samuels, chairman and CEO of Samuels Media Group, added.
Prior to The Weinstein Company Basner served as executive vice president of international sales and distribution at Focus Features, where he sold Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener and Michael Bay's production of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, among others.