Lantica Media and AMBI Group have entered a multi-picture co-production and co-financing deal for English- and Spanish-language features. The partners have committed to making three films over the next three-to-five years which they will fully finance. AMBI Distribution, will handle worldwide sales. Lantica’s interests include Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios and Lantica Pictures which develops, finances and produces original content for English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. Its most recent project is the Jonas Cuaron-helmed Z which shoots this summer. AMBI, founded by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, is the company that’s mounting a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento and a biopic of Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini to be written by Bobby Moresco. Last year, AMBI acquired the Exclusive Media Group film library. AMBI and Lantica are also partnering in a new VFX and 3D conversion post-production facility that will be based at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios where xXx is currently shooting. The company will fall under AMBI’s Toronto-based AIC Studios banner.
Fox International Productions and FOX Networks Group Asia have set a new collaboration to develop and co-produce Chinese-language content, including films and TV series for distribution globally. FIP and FNG Asia have already been actively producing and investing in Chinese-language content — the combination of the sister companies’ resources and expertise aims to make them the go-to platform for local creative talent. The deal covers the development of new scripts and remakes of existing Fox titles. FIP recently made a Chinese version of Bride Wars. The first title under the new agreement will start production in 2017. FIP President, Tomas Jegeus, said, “Greater China, and Asia overall, represent a very significant portion of our strategic focus on the production of feature films globally. FIP joining forces with FOX Networks Group Asia will now solidly position us as a go-to, one-stop shop for our local partners, and amongst the creative community overall in the region.”
China’s Huayi Bros Media has established a new animation division, Wink Animation, and set former Oriental DreamWorks exec Joe Aguilar as CEO. Also joining is VFX supervisor Markus Manninen as artistic director. The pair have worked on such titles as The Croods and Kung Fu Panda 3. According to reports, Wink expects to release its first film in 2017. Animation is a growing business in China where KFP3 is currently the biggest grosser ever, followed by local summer hit Monkey King: Hero Is Back.
The second episode of Julian Fellowes’ Doctor Thorne miniseries aired on ITV last night in the UK where it’s been warmly received in Downton Abbey‘s old time slot. Hat Trick International has now reported sales ahead of Mip-TV next month with VRT Belgium, DR Byen Denmark, UTV Ireland, yes Satellite Services Israel, Prime New Zealand and SVT Sweden all hopping on board. The Weinstein Co has the U.S. and Canada. Based on the story by Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne is set in Victorian England and is a tale of envy, lust and greed, arrogance, vanity and false values — but mainly of love. Tom Hollander, Ian McShane, Alison Brie and Rebecca Front star. Hat Trick also says it is launching three-part drama The Secret at Mip. James Nesbitt stars in the real-life story of a respectable dentist and pillar of the community who became a killer in partnership with a Sunday school teacher, Hazel Buchanan, played by Episodes‘ Genevieve O’Reilly. The drama has been selected as one of the special Mip screenings on April 3. It’s produced by Hat Trick Productions for ITV.