Plus: Maven says Good Morning, Mr. Mandela; IFC Films acquires The Land; and more…

Tom Ortenberg

Tom Ortenberg’s (pictured) Open Road Films and Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures have signed a non-exclusive production alliance for two to four in-house Open Road productions a year. Separately Open Road gets a first-look arrangement on MadRiver films.

The new international sales arm overseen by Kim Fox will handle rights outside the US on those titles, while FilmNation continues to handle international sales on Open Road productions.

  • Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures have teamed up with Jacqui Lewis to adapt Zelda la Grange’s Good Morning, Mr. Mandela, about the author and a white Afrikaner’s friendship with the former South African leader.

  • Andras Hamori’s London and Toronto-based H2O Motion Pictures has added two titles to the slate: Michael Dowse will direct the comedy Stiff, while American Solo will be based on by Katja Eichinger’s German thriller novel.

  • IFC Films is acquiring US rights from WME Global to Steven Caple Jr’s recent Sundance NEXT selection The Land, about two teenagers in Ohio who get involved with a crime boss.

  • Momentum Pictures has acquired North American rights from producer Jared Greenman and attorney Paul Battista to the dramedy Hard Sell starring Kristin Chenoweth. Sean Nalaboff’s feature film debut will open day-and-date in spring.

  • Paramount Pictures has hired Christine Benitez as vp of multicultural marketing. The executive most recently served as director of multicultural activities at The Walt Disney Studios.

  • James Pitaro, currently co-chair of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president, of Disney Interactive, has been named chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Medi

  • WME-owned IMG has hired Gary Marenzi to the new position of head of entertainment sales & partnerships. Marenzi has served as president of Paramount International Television, MGM Worldwide Television and UIP Pay Television and his appointment marks IMG’s entertainment sales expansion.

  • The CreativeFuture coalition companies has launched a series of films illustrating the value of creativity called the Stand Creative Series. Click here to see more.