Producers Stephen Rollins and Todd Allen have formed a new venture called Identity Entertainment, which has signed a multi-picture deal with New York-based trading company, Ginepri Capital.

The deal will see Identity develop and produce an undisclosed number of pictures, with a focus on commercial properties, over the next six to nine years.

Rollins, chief executive of Lightning Pictures and Presidio Pictures president Allen have already partnered with UK-based CM Productions to develop Les Miserables for the big screen. It will be based on the Victor Hugo novel and the successful musical.

Rollins said: “This is an exciting venture for all parties involved. Our focus is produce quality films that mark our place in the mainstream of moving making. And in the wake of Mamma Mia’s profound box office success, we are extremely optimistic about the economic impact of Les Mis.”

Identity also has a number of other films in the pipeline including a feature version of short American Identity, which examines the impact of September 11 on American military families; The Empty Quarter, a tense drama set on a high pressure Saudi drilling rig, and The Midnight Hour, a poweful story of friendship tested by race barriers during the 1960s. Rollins and Allen are in talks with major studios about distribution.

The new venture will work with digital marketing and social networking agency Snowball-Media, which has worked on campaigns for Schindler’s List and TV properties including American Idol, to develop campaigns to promote its slate.

Allen, an actor, writer and producer, appears in more than 50 films and TV shows and will appear next in the upcoming independent feature, American Cartel, currently in post-production. Presidio currently has a slate of 14 pictures. Rollins has also previously appeared in front of the camera although now focuses on producing. He has written, produced and will make his directorial debut on American Identity.