EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films is expanding into the international sales and distribution business after inking a strategic partnership with Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment.

Image (2) filmnation__130114095505-200x81.jpg for post 403766The deal, announced today by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and FilmNation CEO Basner, will allow Open Road to acquire worldwide rights on selected feature projects, with Film Nation selling and servicing international. The move will allow Open Road to offer filmmakers equity and bank financing for productions. The company will also continue to acquire films for U.S. distribution. The pact also gives the well-respected Basner a domestic base to his burgeoning international business.

The companies will be operating together next month at the American Film Market, meeting with buyers, producers and filmmakers. Details of the first projects to emanate from the new partnership are expected in the coming weeks.

“As Open Road Films grows, expanding our domestic footprint to international sales was a natural progression,” Ortenberg said. “Glen Basner and his team are experts in global film distribution and we are thrilled to be working with them on this new venture.”

Added Basner: “Open Road Films has quickly become a real force in U.S. distribution, and we at FilmNation are thrilled to help expand their reach overseas.”

Open Road, founded in 2011 by AMC and Regal, releases the well-reviewed Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Nightcrawler this weekend and has a strong upcoming slate of distribution releases for 2015 including Bill Murray-starrer Rock The Casbah and The Gunman, starring Sean Penn and Idris Elba. The company recently extended its $100 million credit facility through 2018.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road by Ortenberg, COO and General Counsel Elliott Kleinberg and EVP Production & Acquisitions Peter Lawson, and by FilmNation’s Basner and EVP Business and Legal Affairs Alison Cohen.