Film Office, a subsidiary of Frenchmedia and publishing giant Hachette Filipacchi, which has been increasinglyboarding foreign feature film projects at an early stage in order to build upits library of theatrical rights, is now to develop its own titles.
Theveteran French home video company, which has been a pioneer of all-rightsacquisitions for the French market since Basic Instinct, is to underlinethe move by changing its name to Hachette Filipacchi Films (HFF). Film Office'sgeneral manager Franck Ribiere, said: "We are truly doing another job now. Wehave moved from being a home video distributor to become a film rights tradingoutfit and, although our titles are physically distributed by other companiessuch as Paramount as far as home video is concerned, we control their marketingin all sectors.
"Thenext step is to initiate our own films, which will be exclusivelyEnglish-language European projects. I will still be acquiring films and seekingpartnership on third party titles, but I will also be looking for book rights and scripts. There is enoughtalent and financing in Europe to produce high-end European titles with aninternational potential. What we need to do is think differently and useAmerican marketing methods.
HFFhas recently acquired all rights to Deauville title The Man From ElysianFields, and to Sundance film Narc, which are both to be distributedin France by Mars Films. It also co-acquired Lakeshore's WilliamFriedkin-directed The Hunted, with French distributor CTV International,which will distribute.
FilmOffice has also boarded the Jez Butterworth forthcoming The Genesis Codeand The Lazarus Child, which was scripted by Ron Bass.