Gold CircleFilms - the LA-based production/financing outfit run by Paul Brooks whichscored the runaway hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding last year, is to establish a presence inthe UK with the imminent hiring of an acquisitions executive. The new executivewill likely be joined by one or two further Gold Circle hires in the nearfuture and they will be based in the London offices of The Mob, VadimJean's commercials outfit; the facilities housed at The Mob will also bemade available to them.
Jean firstworked with Brooks in 1992 when Brooks' UK distribution company Metrodomehandled Jean's directorial debut Leon The Pig Farmer (co-directed by Jean and Gary Sinyor).He is currently directing Jiminy Glick In Lalawood for Gold Circle in Vancouver and isattached to direct Pet Assassin for Gold Circle later this year.
The move intothe UK by Brooks comes following the creation of a new domestic distributionarm Gold Circle Releasing in Jan this year. Brooks says that he wants toreinforce his ties with existing and emerging UK talent at a time when the UKindustry is starved of resources to get films made. "I want to build astronger link with the British film community," he explained toScreendaily on Friday. "There's an amazing amount of film-makingtalent there and yet they are finding it tough at the moment. By pre-buyingNorth American rights and guaranteeing a domestic theatrical release [throughGold Circle Releasing] to films we like, we can get films made and benefit theUK industry."
Brooks said thatLondon will act as a beachhead for Gold Circle's activities in accessingEuropean talent as well as stocking up on films to release in the US. It also of course gives Gold Circle access to UK sale-and-leaseback and tax schemes. He stressed that the London arm would be "very conservative" in its acquisitions.
Gold Circle wasformed by Norm Waitt, the co-founder of Gateway Computers, in May 2000;British-born Brooks came in as president in March 2001. Brooks is well-known inthe UK as the founder of Metrodome which handled pictures including ChasingAmy, Buffalo 66, and itsown productions Shadow Of The Vampire and The Real Howard Spitz.
Since Brooksarrived at Gold Circle, it has produced pictures including The Man FromElysian Fields directedby George Hickenlooper, Poolhall Junkies starring Chazz Palminteri and Christopher Walken, EddieGriffin's concert film Dys Funk-tional Family (to be handled by Miramax Films) andcollege road movie Rolling Kansas as well as My Big Fat Greek Wedding which Gold Circle co-financed with HBOand the distribution arrengement for which Brooks struck with IFC Films.
Gold CircleReleasing has yet to announce any third party acquisitions, although it didmake bids on two films at Sundance; the company struck a deal late last yearwith Samuel Goldwyn Films to co-distribute three of its productions - Sonny (which opened in Dec 2002), PoolhallJunkies (set to open Feb28) and Rolling Kansas.Gold Circle also has a stake in international sales company Vortex Pictureswhich handles its product in foreign markets.