UK financier Future Film Group (FFG) has acquired UK rights to $20m romantic drama Beautiful Joe, starring Sharon Stone and Billy Connolly.
UK distributor Metrodome Distribution will release the picture through its recently-formed joint venture with FFG, which has earmarked a $15m acquisitions fund for titles which Metrodome will release.
FFG paid an advance for the UK distribution rights to the film, which Metrodome will release in the late summer. The film, which also stars Ian Holm, was directed by Stephen Metcalfe and is a joint production between Capitol Films, Beautiful Films and Haft Entertainment.
FFG also recently acquired the $24m The Body, starring Antonio Banderas and Olivia Williams, for the joint venture with Metrodome. The partners aim to release between five and eight British qualifying films a year.
FFG was formerly known as Factor 8 Films, but relaunched itself last month under a new banner and with risk money. The operation combines funding for the acquisition of UK distribution rights to British qualifying films with film investment schemes that operate under the government's first-year tax write-offs for production and acquisition. On The Body, the company moved into funding at production stage through tax-driven schemes, allowing the producers to upgrade the film's soundtrack.
Metrodome, the UK distributor of British hit Human Traffic, also recently formed a UK production company with Nicolas Winding Refn and Henrik Danstrup, the up-and-coming film-makers behind Danish titles Pusher and Bleeder. Titled NWR UK, the company will produce English-language features from the Danish duo, with director Winding Refn's English-language debut to shoot in October. The as-yet-untitled thriller is set in Rio and the US.