France's Pathe has boardedFrancis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth as French co-producer and international sales agent. Pathe PicturesInternational will start selling the American Zoetrope film to buyers at AFM.
The movie, a low-budgetreturn to directing for the US master, is currently shooting in Bucharest,Romania, and will continue production on and off around Europe until early2006.
Bim is on board as Italianpartner, and the film has been submitted to France's CNC as aRomania-France-Italy co-production. Pathe will handle distribution itself inFrance and the UK.
An adaptation of the novellaby Romanian author Mircea Eliade, Youth Without Youth is the story of a professor who recaptures his youthafter he is struck by lightning. Coppola wrote the script himself; Fred Roosand Anahid Nazarian are the producers, while Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara andBruno Ganz head the cast.
Pathe's Paul Rassam and UKchief Francois Ivernel negotiated the deal with Zoetrope.
The move comes two monthsafter Pathe Pictures International came on as sales agent for On The Road, Zoetrope's long-gestating film of Jack Kerouac'sclassic which will be directed by Walter Salles and written by Jose Rivera.Focus Features has domestic rights.
It's been a successful yearfor Pathe's English-language activities; its UK arm had a US hit with Millions through Fox Searchlight and enjoyed a warm reception for its Toronto worldpremieres Mrs Henderson Presentsand Breakfast On Pluto.
AFM represents the firstmarket in charge for new international chief Mike Runagall, who took over whenAlison Thompson left for Focus last month.
Meanwhile, with On TheRoad going into production and both YouthWithout Youth and Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette scheduled for delivery, 2006 is set to be a busyyear for Zoetrope.
Francis Ford Coppola himselfhasn't directed a film since John Grisham's The Rainmaker in 1997.
(Mike Goodridgecontributed to this report)