Catch 23 Entertainment, the LA production company funded by Denver-based financier Bob Sturm and run by president Jeremy Barber, is to launch a UK production arm with a £1.5m development fund and an advisory committee composed of ICM (UK) chairman Duncan Heath and European head of international operations Lyndsey Posner.
Barber said he is looking to hire a creative executive to work from ICM's London offices and develop and package three pictures a year originated in the UK with ICM talent. "Duncan and Lyndsey know this world as well as anyone," Barber said. "We are lucky to have their guidance."
No projects have yet been identified, although ICM's UK client list is a who's who of local talent including directors Roger Michell, Guy Ritchie, Danny Boyle, Sam Mendes, Michael Winterbottom, Jonathan Glazer and Martin Campbell and actors Rupert Everett, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Rachel Weisz.
Catch 23, which has a US distribution arrangement with Universal Focus, was formed last year by Sturm to produce films in the $3m to $15m range. Among the first titles on the C23 slate are The Professor's Wife, to be directed by Victor Nunez, an adaptation of Melissa Banks' short story collection The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing and Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo, starring Robin Williams on which Catch 23 is an equity partner.
Earlier this year, Catch 23 hired talent manager John Carrabino, whose clients include Renee Zellweger and Shannon Doherty, to build a management division, which should have natural synergies with Catch 23's London operation and ICM (UK).