Eagle Pictures, the fast-expanding film and TV outfit based in Rome and Milan, has struck a two picture deal with Mandalay Pictures, the Paramount-based independent headed by Peter Guber. Mandalay had previously licensed movies in Italy through Cecchi Gori Pictures and more recently Medusa Film.
Under the deal, Eagle has acquired Reginald Hudlin's Servicing Sara, a comedy starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley about a woman who attempts to track down her husband in Texas in order to divorce him. The film is financed by German film fund KC Medien and CineArtists Entertainment.
Eagle, which is headed by brothers Stefano and Ciro Dammicco, also picked up Beyond Borders, a romantic drama directed by Martin Campbell with Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen. Cameras started rolling on December 16 on the picture, which follows a turbulent love affair set against the backdrop of the Medecin Sans Frontieres voluntary organisation.
In the meantime, Eagle is also negotiating Italian distribution rights to a third Mandalay Picture, End Game, a post-Cold War thriller starring Sean Connery.
International sales on all three pictures are handled by Summit Entertainment, who has provided international sales and distribution for Mandalay since Guber founded the company in 1995.
Eagle's latest acquisition spree follows a major cash injection from leading financial group Interbanca, which acquired a 13.79% stake in the film outfit at the end of last year for a value of Euros 10.3m. The bank also awarded the company a Euros 50m medium-term fund to be invested in theatrical acquisitions and production.
The company, which is gearing up to float on the Italian stock exchange, recently unveiled a slate of high-profile pictures in development, including The White Rose, a $15m movie from director Joel Schumacher based on the true story of a group of German students who opposed the Nazi regime during the Second World War; and Blackberry Wine, a screen adaptation of Joanne Harris's follow-up to best-selling novel Chocolat.
Founded in 1986, Eagle has output and acquisition deals with several international companies, including Mutual Film Co, Miramax, Canwest Fireworks and Escape Artists.