WarnerIndependent Pictures, the specialty arm of Warner Bros which launched in August2003, has secured a development and co-production fund with Cherry Road Films.

Under the dealthe two companies will jointly develop projects - mostly from books, plays orpre-existing screenplays - with writers, directors and other producers.

Cherry Road willalso have the opportunity to co-finance production on certain films and thecompany's principals - Bo Hyde, Kendall Morgan and Kathleen Haase - willhave producing roles on all of their projects.

"Many ofthe pictures we will produce come to us with scripts in very good shape -requiring at most a pre-production rewrite," Warner Independent presidentGill said in a statement.

"This fundenables us to selectively develop projects that aren't as far along butthat have tremendous potential to become great films.

We'reparticularly pleased to be partnered with Cherry Road. They're smart,creative, insightful, well-capitalised and well positioned to make the most ofthis joint venture."

Cherry Road have been involved in the production of two films this year - the black comedy Eulogy, which was produced by Myriad Pictures and Ovation Entertainment and will be released by Artisan inMarch 2004 starring Hank Azaria, Zooey Deschanel, Famke Jamsen and DebraWinger, and an as yet untitled film directed by Andrew Gurland, whose creditsinclude Cheats and FratHouse, produced withHypnotic's Doug Liman and David Bartis.

Cherry Road alsohas several projects of its own in active development that it plans to sharewith Warner Independent.

Cherry Roadchief executive officer Bo Hyde is a former investment strategist and businessmanager for private equity and real estate.

Kendall Morganproduced Pop Life andmost recently worked as an independent documentary and investigative reporterfor A&E and PBS, while production president Kathleen Haase previouslyworked as a development and production executive for Largo Entertainment.

WarnerIndependent Pictures finances, produces, acquires and will theatricallydistribute up to 10 feature films per year largely budgeted under $20m.