Beni Atoori's LosAngeles-based Stonelock Pictures has secured a $200m credit line through Dutchbank ABN AMRO to produce films and set up international sales companyStonelock Pictures International.
AFMA chairman and IACpartner Michael Ryan will handle sales on the company's first two pictures: thebiopic Mata Hari and the epic Gilgamesh, which stars Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole.
"We have been working for along time to put this together and we are now moving full-steam ahead on ourfirst two productions for this summer," Atoori, who produced 13Conversations About One Thing, saidin a statement.
"I think Michael Ryan is thebest person in the business to present these films to the international markets."
Both pictures are valued atpounds15m and are German-UK co-productions through an agreement with StonelockPictures and the UK-based Film Group.
Atoori will produce withSabrina Atoori and Lawrence Mortorff serving as executive producers.
Mata Hari is set to begin a 14-week shoot in Europe in Julyand explores the life and times of the infamously beguiling World War One spy.The company is in talks to attach a director and star.
Gilgamesh is slated for an11-week shoot in Morocco and Romania this summer and tells the tale of awarrior king's quest for happiness and immortality.
Roger Christian (BattlefieldEarth, Nostrodamus) will directbased on a screenplay he co-wrote with Atoori and Mitchell Cohen. Three mainlead roles are yet to be cast.
"These are large scale actionmovies with stories that have a strong emotional pull for audiences," Ryansaid. "They have a very strong potential for both the domestic andinternational markets and I'm excited at the prospects for introducing thesetitles to international buyers at AFM and Cannes."
Stonelock Pictures plans toproduce between four and six films a year in the $25-$35m budget range and isalso preparing a slate of low budget productions and acquisitions. Atoori isalso in talks to acquire several film libraries.
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