Broad Green Pictures said today it has acquired a 45% stake in David Garrett’s London-based sales and distribution outfit Mister Smith Entertainment. Garrett, generally recognized as one of the film industry’s good guys, will continue as Mister Smith’s CEO, and will contribute to Broad Green’s greenlight committee. Mister Smith will serve as international sales and distribution arm for Broad Green productions with a first right of refusal to handle sales and servicing those titles internationally.
The partnership provides Broad Green the ability to maximize the foreign potential of its in-house productions — both wide and awards-oriented specialty platform releases — and also allows the ambitious company the potential to acquire worldwide rights on selected feature projects.
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The move also allows Mister Smith substantially greater flexibility in its operations and the ability to offer filmmakers equity and financing for productions. The two companies will be operating together at this year’s Cannes.
Broad Green was started by entrepreneurs Gabriel and Daniel Hammond, who are still in the process of staffing up. Deadline broke news of the company’s splashy two-picture acquisition with Terrence Malick on Knight of Cups and his untitled next film. The upstart also partnered with Imax to co-finance and distribute Malick’s Voyage Of Time epic that Brad Pitt is narrating.
“Gabriel and Daniel Hammond are an incredibly dynamic and visionary duo, and I am excited by the possibilities afforded by such a collaboration with the Broad Green team,” Garrett said. “Making an alliance with a U.S. distributor seemed the next logical step for Mister Smith and Broad Green’s business philosophy and ethos are a great fit with ours.”
Mister Smith also handles the licensing and servicing of DreamWorks Studios product in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The deal makes sense for both Broad Green and Mister Smith. Last year, Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment inked a strategic deal with Open Road that allowed both companies to combine international sales with domestic distribution and project financing.
The Mister Smith-Broad Green deal was negotiated on behalf of Broad Green by Hammond, Chris Tricarico, EVP Business Affairs and General Counsel, and Shawn Xu, Manager Finance; and by Mister Smith’s Garrett and COO Dan Fisher.
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