Russiandistributor Michael Schlicht and Moscow based exhibitor Paul Heth have teamedup to market Russian film talent to Hollywood following their successfulbrokering of Russian blockbuster NightWatch to 20th Century Fox.
The newcompany PGM (Patten Media Group) will market not only Russian productinternationally but also Russian scripts, re-make rights and talent.
"We thinkit's the right time for this," said Schlicht who heads Gemini Film, one ofRussia's oldest distributors which handles Fox and MGM product as well asRussian films.
Paul Heth,his partner in PGM heads Rising Star Media, a joint venture with NationalAmusements, which opened a 12 screen multiplex in Moscow last year and plans toopen another by the end of this year.
Schlichtand Heth sold the Night Watch trilogyto Fox for a $6m minimum guarantee plus an agreement to make a furtherinvestment in the prequel which will be shot in Los Angeles next year inEnglish.
"Wedistributed 20 films in Russia this year," said Schlicht, "and four of themwere Russian, including Night Watch. This is the first year that we havedistributed Russian films. We have beenwaiting for the right kind of Russian product to be produced and now it is."
In DecemberGemini Film will release another Russian film, Personal Number (Lichny Nomer) a Top Line Production, directed by EvgenyLavrentiev, about international terrorism, which Schlicht expects toGross about $12m. Night Watch has already topped $17m.
The Russianbox office is expected to top $300m this year, up from $200m in 2003.