Beyond Friendship,which focuses on the Arab-Jewish conflict surrounding the birth of Israelimmediately after World War Two, is to be jointly handled for worldwide salesby Myriad Pictures' Kirk D'Amico and Foresight Unlimited's Mark Damon.
Their respective Santa Monica and Los-Angeles-basedfinancing and production companies will bring the title to the Cannes marketand have already completed sales to Canal Plus and TF1 in France and Medusa inItaly.
ElieChouraqui's sweeping tale, which is currently shooting in Greece, is based onDominque Lapierre and Larry Collins' 1972 international bestseller O Jerusalem, which sold 12 million copies worldwide and was translated into 25 languages. Lapierre also wrote City Of Joy, which he adapted into a screenplay for Roland Joffe's 1992 film.
Beyond Friendship revolves around two American friends, oneJewish and the other Arab, during the turbulent founding of Israel in 1948 after the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine. Pulled into the conflict, their involvement takes them from New York to Jerusalem, where each fights for what they believe in.
Ian Holm stars as Israel's first prime minister David Ben Gurion.Other cast members include JJ Field, Patrick Bruel, Said Taghmaoui, and TomConti.
Chouraqui, Andre Djaoui, Damon, Jean Charles Levy, and AndreasSchmid are producing in association with Blue Rider. David Korda and AndreasGrosch are serving as executive producers.
Djaoui has assembled a financing jigsaw that includes Box Film andFilms 18 from the UK, Cinegram of Greece, Les Films de L'Instant from France,Titania Productions in Italy, GG Studios from Israel and Germany's VIPMedienfund.
"I am delighted to becollaborating on such an important and long awaited movie with my old friendKirk," Damon said. "The film has a very important story to tell, and I am veryproud to be one of its producers."
"What Elie the director plans to do with the film is simplygroundbreaking in its attempt to capture the recent past for today's audience,' D'Amico added.
Damon founded Foresight Unlimited in November 2004 with the aimof producing four to five pictures a year for the global marketplace. Inaddition to Beyond Friendship, production is underway in Moscow on the Joffe-directedpsychological thriller Captivity, which Foresight is co-producing with Russian production houseRamco.
Joffe will also direct the romantic adventure Marlowe, starring Gerard Butler, which is set tobegin production this autumn.