EXCLUSIVE: The President is one of a record eight features on 2014 production slate from Film & Music Entertainment.
Mike Downey & Sam Taylor’s London-based Film & Music Entertainment is launching a record eight features in 2014, representing total production budgets of $21m. This comes after six features totalling $12m in 2013.
BAC Films has come on board to handle international sales and serve as French co-producer for one of those eight, Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s The President, which is casting now for a February start of shoot in Georgia. As with their recent Georgian shoot for Ben Hopkins’ Epic, F&ME are partnering in Georgia with Vladimer Katcharava’s 20 Steps Productions as well as the Caucasian Film Service. Germany’s Herzog and Brümmer co-produces the $1.95m project.
Also in February, sequel documentary Streetkids United II – The Girls from Rio will start its shoot in Brazil, with a budget of $995,000 and directed by Mara Mourao. The Brazilian co-producer is Walkiria Barbosa of Total Filmes and it is a co-production with Jamillah van der Hulst and in collaboration with Martin Witsenburg and Witsenburg Natural products. Stephen Daldry and Beeban Kidron are acting as execs on the project.
In March, Srdjan Dragojevic will shoot the $4.6m adaptation of Julian Barnes’ The Porcupine. The project is a co-production between F&ME/Delirium and Poland’s ZaiR, German’s Departures Films, Sektor in Macedonia, Drugi Plan in Croatia, UKR Kino in Ukraine, and Camera Ltd in Bulgaria. The film will shoot in Bulgaria, Macedonia and the Ukraine and will do its post production is in Poland (the Polish Film Institute has also invested).
Marc Evans’ Cassy And Jude, budgeted at $6.2m, has just added Beta Cinema as its sales company. The film will shoot in early summer and funders include the Film Agency For Wales.
A January shoot is being lined up for Konstantin Bojanov’s adaptation of William Dalrymple’s book Nine Lives, entitled In Search of a Miracle. The film will have a pre-shoot in India in January and will be made in co-production with KinoElektron, Crescendo Films and Overdose.
Shoots later in the year will include Anna Negri’s 1970s Rome-st Con un piede impigliato nella storia (with Italy’s Fandango); Mike van Diem’s $6.3m The Surprise, with Dutch outfit Isabella Films; Miroslav Momcilovic’s Belgrade love story Stinking Fairy Tale; Antonio Nuic’s The Butcher’s Heart; a soon to be confirmed project with Volker Schloendorff; and a big screen version of Mark Dornford May’s Isango production of The Magic Flute (IMPEMPE YOMLINGO) set for a autumn 2014 shoot in Cape Town and in collaboration with Germany’s Felix Blum of Propeller Film.
After working with Vladimer Katcharava in the Tbilisi to launch the production service outfit The Caucasian Film Service, F&ME now plans to open new offices in Zagreb and Berlin in the coming year, and an affiliate in Warsaw in the long term.
Downey said: “With a potentially record turnover estimated for 2014, we will be in a position to expand and consolidate, and set down more roots in Europe and expand our production finance base. In addition are particularly keen to establish a long term partnership with a German post production facility, much like our former arrangement at Molinare in London.”
Sam Taylor said: “The excellent year we have had [in 2013] will fund our expansion ambitions in 2014 and also underscore a solid slate for the upcoming year where we are working with some of the most talented film makers working in Europe today. Germany is a finance and talent powerhouse and a base there will complement our UK cornerstone financing tools, and a centre in Zagreb will allow us to access excellent facilities and services at a price that will put value onto the screen.”
F&ME’s recent credits include Serbian hit The Parade, Julien Temple’s doc Rio 50 Degrees (formerly titled Children of the Revolution), and Mark Dornford May’s Toronto title Noye’s Fludde.