EXCLUSIVE: Antwerp-based Benelux distributor The Searchers has closed a slate co-financing deal with Anton Corp., the parent company of Anton Capital Entertainment. Under the deal, Anton will partner on all upcoming Searchers releases, as well as future acquisitions. The two companies expect to partner on around 15 releases per year.
The Searchers was officially launched at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and has since closed deals on some prolific titles up for grabs in the indie market such as George Clooney’s Suburbicon and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. The company, which specializes in elevated entertainment, saw commercial successes on its home turf with acquisitions such as Hell or High Water, The Boy and Demolition.
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The company also has exclusive deals for Benelux on all films produced by Teddy Schwartzman’s Black Bear Pictures (whose Canadian distrib Elevation Pictures also has a multi-year slate co-financing deal with Anton Corp.) and STX Entertainment. Its upcoming slate includes Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, Stephen Gaghan’s Gold, Doug Liman’s The Wall, Todd Haynes Wonderstruck, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, Will Gluck’s Jackpot and Nash Edgerton’s untitled action comedy starring Charlize Theron.
The deal is yet another sign that Europe-based Anton Corp. is continuing to expand its global footprint by playing a key part in bolstering the strength of international distributors while also looking to acquire more content. Founded by Sébastien Raybaud in 2011, the company debuted its pioneering co-financing model by partnering with Studiocanal for a €150M ($160.4M) deal that has included international productions such as Paddington and Non Stop. Off of the back of that initial success, Anton Corp. has expanded and signed further partnerships with indie distribs in Europe and North America and has developed a new distribution business in emerging markets.
It’s paired with Blumhouse Productions on the co-financing of the reboot of Benji as well as with Elevation Pictures and earlier this month, Nordic major SF Studios signed a co-financing deal with Anton Corp to co-finance English-language productions.
Industry veteran Harold van Lier, who previously served as President of eOne Films Int’l as well as EVP International Distribution at Studiocanal, joined Anton in January 2016 as a partner and its President of Distribution.
“Searchers is building a future that is based on commercial, marketing driven acquisitions that are at the same time unique, director driven and contemporary,” said Searchers execs Olivier Van den Broeck and Elise Van Marcke. “The industry is changing radically and so is the taste of our audience that sets the bar higher than ever. We feel our partnership with Sébastien Raybaud, Harold Van Lier and the Anton team enables us to be the best version of what we strive to be as a company. The deal will also include the Benelux distribution by Searchers of films financed by Anton and we look forward to being a partner in this process.”
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