European production andsales company Blue Star Movies has announced that Pietro Dioni and IreneMasiello have taken over as managing directors, overseeing day-to-dayoperations of the business, while former CEO Pete Maggi will assume the titleof Chairman and kick start his new financing company, Movie Finance.
Movie Finance, an equityfund to be launched at the beginning of 2006, will offer up to 60% funding forEuropean co-productions (of budgets up to $15 million) geared to theinternational market
Dioni heads Blue Star Moviesin London while Masiello will oversee Blue Spice, the company's Italian jointventure with UK production company Spice Factory. Masiello will aim to ramp upthe company's executive producing collaborations with foreign film-makers.
At AFM, Blue Star is sellingDavidGrieco's Evilenko, Fabrizio Costa's MotherTeresa, and Nicolas van Pallandt's Making Waves.
Two Blue Star projects,previously announced at Cannes, are both in early pre-production. HelenaBonham-Carter is now attached to star in Simon Wells' $12 million romanticcomedy Stand By Love. Also in pre-production is FabioGuaglione and Fabio Resinaro's $3 million Italian-set thriller My FavoriteGame.
"Blue Star and Blue Spiceare moving ahead with financing and production and sales on projects announcedat Cannes and with new ones. Pete Maggi's new ventures will also benefit ourproduction and international sales business," Dioni and Masiello said in astatement.
Blue Star's past productionsinclude The Merchant of Veniceand Head in the Clouds.