International sales executives Nicolas Chartier and Dean Shapiro have teamed up to found Vortex Pictures, a new financing and foreign sales outfit based in Santa Monica which already has three films on its books from Los Angeles production outfit Gold Circle Films.

Chartier, who was formerly vice president of sales and acquisitions at Myriad Pictures, and Shapiro, formerly a senior vice president of international sales at Motion Picture Corp Of America who also had a stint at beleagured internet outfit Internet Studios, will both be attending Toronto this week before officially launching Vortex at London Screenings and MIFED in October.

Their first three films are:

- My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a comedy co-produced by Gold Circle with Tom Hanks' Playtone Films, which will have its US premiere on HBO. Originally represented by Lions Gate Films International, the film is based on Nia Vardalos' play and Vardalos stars with Gia Carides, John Corbett and Joey Fatone.

- Dawg, a romantic comedy reteaming Double Whammy stars Denis Leary and Elizabeth Hurley. Victoria Hochberg directs the story of a ladies man who must apologise to all the women he has betrayed before he inherits $1m.

- Wishcraft, a teenage horror movie about a girl granted three wishes. Directed by Richard Wenk and starring Michael Weston, Meatloaf and Austin Pendleton.