New York-based Plum Pictures and Elephant Eye Films are producing. The latter is in Berlin for the first time to talk about its new slate of films and to acquire films for US distribution.
The company, founded by Kim Jose (former VP of Jean Doumanian Productions), Dave Robinson (former CFO and head of international sales for Lee Daniels Entertainment) and Vicky Wight (former VP of Artistic License). They are focusing on story-driven films of budgets of $3m-$10m, aiming to produce four to six films per year.
'By tacking production, distribution and sales, we want to be the tiniest studio you could imagine,' Jose told ScreenDaily.com. 'We're developing a haven for directors and writers.'
Its EFM market screenings are for Great World Of Sound (already taken in the US by Magnolia) and Benson Lee's international breakdancing documentary Planet B-Boy.
The Elephant Eye slate for international sales also includes Push, directed by Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels and based on the acclaimed novel by Sapphire about a pregnant teenager in Harlem. Gabourey 'Gabbie' Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz star in the project, now in post (Elephant Eye is screening footage here.)
Also in post, Elephant Eye has Daniels-produced Tennessee directed by Aaron Woodley from a script by Russell Schaumburg. Mariah Carey, Adam Rothenberg, Ethan Peck and Lance Reddick star in the story of two brothers who meet an aspiring singer while on a road trip.
Projects in development include The Harvest, a psychological thriller written by Stephen Lancellotti about a doctor who breaks the rules to save his child (out to directors now); quirky musical Country Song written by Etan Frankel about a woman who abandons her family in her quest for stardom (also out to directors); and longer-term development project The World To Come, a $20m-$30m adaptation of the Dara Horn novel about a former child prodigy who gets embroiled in an Chagall painting forgery.
Jose is particularly excited about selling Zobel's debut feature and co-producing his follow-up. 'When you read Turkey In The Straw and see Great World Of Sound, it hits you like a ton of bricks that this is a completely new voice. It's hard to compare Craig to another writer or director. He can take very serious, important moments and mix that with comedy.'
For US distribution, Elephant Eye is in cinemas now with Jennifer Venditti's Billy The Kid and will follow with Planet B-Boy in March.
Jose and Robinson are at the EFM, based in stand 502B at Exhibitor Offices, Potsdamer Platz 11.