US-UK operation ContentFilmand US DVD company Image Entertainment have struck a long-term co-productionand distribution deal.
Under the agreement, Contentwill source and produce a series of films that Image will distribute in theNorth American video market under a new ContentFilm label.
Content's sales arm, ContentInternational, will handle worldwide sales on the films, which will be intendedfor theatrical release but with DVD and video driving revenues.
'Our goal is to bringtogether clever scripts, original direction, recognizable casts and sensiblebudgets to create films with worldwide video appeal and theatricalpotential,' said John Schmidt, Content's joint chief executive.
Edward Pressman, Content'sjoint chief executive, added that the deal would build both companies'libraries and "find new and talented young directors, and hopefully unearthsome franchise opportunities."
The deal comes after apartnership between Content and First Look Media was called off during duediligence in August. Content's pact with Image will initially target up to fourfilms a year, and Content will also scout for acquisitions of completed filmsfor video distribution by Image.
"Given the strength ofdemand for modestly budgeted, high concept, genre-based feature films, we areconfident that the strength of the retail market will support our ambitions,"said Martin W Greenwald, Image's CEO and president.