Inspired by the resurgenceof local-language films in Europe, Fox International has hired former Miramaxexecutive Teresa Moneo to head up European co-productions.
In the new post Moneo, whowas previously senior vice president of European co-productions at Miramax,will be expected to source and evaluate material and oversee production on twoto three local-language titles each year.
Particular emphasis will beplaced on product from the growth markets of Italy and Spain, with projectsconsidered on a case-by-case basis and costing in the Euros3-Euros8m range.
Moneo will be based inLondon and report to Christian Grass, senior vice president for Europe, andTony Safford, senior vice president of acquisitions.
Speaking to Screendaily,Grass and Safford expressed their excitement over Moneo's appointment,with Grass highlighting her "rare blend of creative and businessacumen" while Safford was happy to point out her "rich backgroundand understanding of these markets".
Anchored in thelow-to-mid-budget range, the primary goal will be to recoup costs on eachproduction in its local territory, with any surplus serving as a bonus.
"The extent to whichthese films travel outside their country in Europe and around the world is aquestion of possibility and not a requirement," Safford said.
"What seems veryinteresting to me as an opportunity is the teen-targeted product in thesemarkets," Grass said, adding that some projects may derive fromtelevision or literary properties. However he stressed that Fox Internationalwould consider any project that sounded viable in a broad range of genres.
While neither executivewould be drawn on specifics, it seems clear that the distributor'srelationships will play a key role in helping it establish strong ties toemerging European film-makers.
Fox International hasdistribution arrangements with Alquimia Cinema in Spain, Splendid and Prokinoin Germany, a theatrical joint venture with UGC in France and an in-road to theUK through Fox Searchlight's recent strategic pact with London-based DNAFilms.
Stablemate Sky Italia, theItalian pay TV platform owned by parent company News Corp, may also prove to bea useful ally following its pledge in August to invest Euros50m investment intoItalian cinema each year.
"I am tremendouslypleased to be given this chance to explore new production opportunities with acompany so well positioned to work across European markets," Moneo saidin a statement. "It's a thrilling proposition, and I am looking forwardto working with Tony and Christian on this challenge."
During her time at MiramaxMoneo was responsible for the acquisition of successful foreign-language filmsincluding the Oscar-winning Central Station and the Oscar-nominated Strawberry And Chocolate.
Most recently she wasexecutive producer on Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things and Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena.