UK mini-studio FilmFour and leading German producer-distributor Senator Film have struck a co-production and distribution output deal for at least 14 titles over two years.
Senator will take German-language rights in all media to a string of projects from FilmFour's development slate with a total estimated budget of $400m. Senator will also receive a share of worldwide distribution profits.
One of the first projects to go through the deal is expected to be Our Lucky Break, a comedy from The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo. Barnaby Thompson of Fragile Films, the production outfit behind SpiceWorld: The Movie and An Ideal Husband, will produce.
Other projects may include Jeremy Brock's adaptation of Sebastian Faulk's best-selling novel Charlotte Gray. Also in the running is Allan Scott's screenplay, Henry And Anne, about the infamous marriage between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Both titles, which are expected to be FilmFour's biggest-budget productions to date, are from the UK's Ecosse Films, the production outfit behind Mrs Brown.
The deal is a significant step in FilmFour's aim of building partnerships worldwide, particularly now that its high-profile three-way deal with US producer Arnon Milchan and France's TF1 is at stalemate, for the time being at least. Under that deal, which was unveiled a year ago, Milchan's Regency was to handle territories including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
"FourFour was and remains our first choice as partner in a venture as comprehensive as this one," said Senator chairman Hanno Huth. "Our mutual potential is huge, especially if you look at FilmFour's considerable financial and creative resources."
FilmFour chief executive Paul Webster commented: "We hugely respect Senator Film. Hanno Huth has carved out a spectacular niche in the burgeoning German market. We are in business with a legitimate heavy-weight company, with ambitions that match our own."
Susan Bruce-Smith, director of worldwide sales and marketing at FilmFour, added: "This output deal is key for us at FilmFour, and represents a major step towards our goal of establishing strategic partnerships such as this one around the world.
For FilmFour, the deal was brokered by deputy chief executive Mark Rudolph, Bruce-Smith and director of business affairs Andrew Hildebrand. Senator was represented by director of acquisitions Roman Paul and Bernd Tietze, vice president, business affairs.