First Choice, the innovative UK tax fund launched by financier Grosvenor Park, is pumping approximately 30% of the budgets into two high-profile titles on MyriadPictures' international sales slate - Istvan Szabo's Being Julia and Trauma,director Marc Evan's next picture after UK horror hit My Little Eye.
BeingJuliais being produced through Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films as aCanada-UK-Hungary co-production. Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons will star inthe project, billed as a Dangerous Liaisons set in the glittering Londontheatre world. Written by Ronald Harwood, an Academy Award winner for ThePianist, the production starts principal photography in June, re-unitingLantos and Szabo after 1999's Sunshine.
Trauma marks thedebut production from Ministry of Fear, the genre label formed by UK producerLittle Bird. The psychological chiller will star Colin Firth and Mena Suvariand is produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes and Jonathan Cavendish. Written by Richard Smith, thekeenly-anticipated project will start principal photography later this month onlocation in London and the Isle of Man. BBC Films, Warner Bros and the Isle ofMan Film Commission are co-financing, with Myriad once again handlinginternational sales.
FirstChoice, a tax-based equity fund launched in January, is also backing ThePurifiers, a gang movie set against a martial arts backdrop in a Britain ofthe near future. Written and directed by Richard Jobson, who recently made hisfeature debut with Sixteen Years of Alcohol, the film stars Kevin McKiddand is produced by Jobson and Chris Atkins of Vestry Films and Bill Kenwright.The film is co-financed by Bill Kenwright Films, Scottish Screen and JimHowell's Park Entertainment, which is handling international sales.Principal photography is set for May.
Theprojects mark the first titles backed through First Choice, a productionpartnership of investors for which Grosvenor Park is management adviser. Headedby chairman Donald Starr and managing director Daniel Taylor, Grosvenor Parkhas backed recent productions including Spider, Count Of Monte Cristo,The Importance Of Being Earnest, Reign Of Fire and GosfordPark through other tax mechanisms.
"Thisis an exciting new project providing equity to assorted films and we arepleased to have attracted three diverse and highly attractive feature films toour First Choice Films production partnership," said Starr. "Eachfilm has unique international selling points and in particular a quality andcalibre of talent which we believe will be attractive to distributors and audiencesaround the world."