X-Men 2 screenwriter Dan Harris' directorial debut Imaginary Heroes will be the first film to be handled by new international sales outfit Signature Pictures International (SPI) - a subsidiary of Moshe Diamant's production outfit Signature Entertainment Inc.
Diamant and Jan Fantl's Cologne-based Quality International are the investment partners in SPI, which has been set up to handle sales and marketing for all of the films made as part of the production partnership between Diamant, Fantl, Art Linson and Rudy Cohen.
Veteran sales executive David Lamping who previously handled Signature films through Seven Arts International is to head SPI out of London, although the company will have its headquarters in Luxembourg and operate another office in Los Angeles.
According to SPI, the company will handle around three to four pictures a year in addition to Imaginary Heroes, each budgeted in the region of $40m. The company will be attending all of the key film markets .
Imaginary Heroes, which began shooting in New York on Aug 15 with Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels and Emile Hirsh in the cast, is being produced by Quality International and the German media fund ApolloMedia, with Fantl and ApolloMedia's Frank Huebner serving as executive producers alongside Diamant and Linson.
Quality International is also a co-producer on Ridley Scott's $31m production of Kevin Reynolds' Tristan And Isolde, which begins shooting at locations in Ireland and Prague from Sept 1, and on Kevin Spacey's $22m drama Beyond The Sea which will begin principle photography in Babelsberg studios on October 6 with Kate Bosworth and John Goodman in the other leads.
However, neither of these two projects will be handled by SPI as they are not part of the previously mentioned producer partnership.