American Cinematheque 26th Annual Award Presentation To Ben Stiller 2012 - Cocktail ReceptionAfter Dark Films and Chinese drama producer Shenghua Entertainment have established a five-year $50M co-financing pact that will fly under their new Cinelou Films DHJ banner. Under the deal, After Dark’s Courtney Solomon will produce five $7M-$10M pictures over the next 18 months. The first film will be Black List script Cake written by Patrick Tobin and starring Jennifer Aniston who will also exec produce with Shyam Madiraju and Mark Canton. Daniel Barnz is director and We’re Not Brothers’ Ben Barnz, Echo Films’ Kristin Hahn and Solomon are producing. Conquistador Entertainment is handling sales on Cake at the EFM. Click over for full details on Cinelou:

After Dark Films and Shenghua Entertainment, a leading producer of television drama series in the greater China market, announced a five picture, USD $50MM co-financing pact, for the production of five $7MM-$10MM films over the next 18 months. Under a new banner, CINELOU FILMS (DHJ), Courtney Solomon (An American Haunting, Transit, Dungeons & Dragons) will produce the films which will focus on director and star driven material in the dramatic, dark comedy and thriller genres. Cinelou is being repped by WME Global, who will assist in the sourcing and packaging of the films produced under the new banner.

One of the first deals of its kind from the burgeoning Chinese entertainment arena, the pact allows for films to be chosen based solely on creative merit, with no limitations on where the films are produced. The deal was put together by Solomon and South China Media, under a new production venture between Solomon and Mark Canton (300, 300 Rise Of An Empire, Escape Plan).

The first film under the new deal will be Black List script CAKE written by Patrick Tobin. Jennifer Aniston will star as the acerbic, hilarious Claire Simmons, who becomes fascinated by the suicide of Nina, a woman in her chronic pain support group. As she uncovers the details of Nina’s suicide and develops a poignant relationship with Nina’s husband, Claire also grapples with her own very raw personal tragedy.

Along with starring as Claire Simmons, Jennifer Aniston also will executive produce the film. Daniel Barnz (Phoebe in Wonderland, Won’t Back Down) will direct. Ben Barnz, We’re Not Brothers partner (Phoebe In Wonderland), Kristin Hahn, Echo Films partner (The Departed, The Switch, The Time Travellers Wife), and Solomon will produce, and Shyam Madiraju and Canton will executive produce.

Pascal Borno and Scott Karol’s Conquistador Entertainment is handling sales on CAKE at the EFM in Berlin.

Solomon said “The formation of Cinelou Films DHJ, and this new venture with Shenghua is a unique pact which allows us to give great projects a chance to be made for the right reasons without many of the usual limitations put on indie films. Our goal is to find great material and great talent and let them do what they do best and Shenghua has proven a great partner to make that happen.” Mr. Yu Wei-Chung, chairman of Shenghua Entertainment said “We very much want to be a bridge between Hollywood and the greater China market and this investment is a key way of doing this.”

Director Daniel Barnz said “Of the zillions of Jennifer Aniston fans, I might be the biggest one of all. I’ve especially loved her more dramatic performances, and I can’t wait to watch her tackle a role that has such a brilliantly funny voice and so much raw pain (hats off to writer Patrick Tobin). I’m honored to be collaborating with Ben, Kristin and Courtney, and it’s exciting that Cake will be the first film under the Cinelou banner. It feels like we’re all taking a leap of faith together, and that’s pretty thrilling.”

Producer Ben Barnz said “I’m thrilled to be working alongside Courtney and Kristin, and so very appreciative of Cinelou’s commitment to Cake. Patrick has penned a stunning script, and there’s no doubt Jennifer will amaze in a role that exploits both her comic and dramatic abilities. Daniel always gets terrific performances from his cast and brings great visual panache to his films.”

The deal for CAKE was negotiated by CAA and WME Global who are repping the film together, and Scott Karol, on behalf of Cinelou and Conquistador.