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Breathe – Umphefumlo // Mark Dornford-May

Breathe – Umphefumlo

directed by Mark Dornford-May
Street Kids United II – The Girls from Rio // Maria Clara Costa

Street Kids United II – The Girls from Rio

directed by Maria Clara Costa
The President // Mohsen Makhmalbaf

The President

directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf
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Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) announce their biggest annual slate ever, with 8 features totalling $21 million in production budget

// 28th of January, 2014

Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) announce their biggest annual slate ever, with  8 features totalling $21 million in production budget -  as well as close out their successful 2013 slate comprising of six features  including Ben Hopkins’ and Pawel Pawlikowski’s  EPIC and Julien Temple’s Rio 50 Degrees.  Combined production budgets of 2013/14 slates is $33 million. 

Rapidly expanding company launch production service co-venture in Georgia and plan to open a Central European, and Berlin-based office in next 12 months

Mike Downey and Sam Taylor’s prolific London-based Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) announced today that they will launch a record number of eight feature productions in 2014.  Total production budgets on the slate hit $21 million nearly doubling the current 2013 production slate of $12 million.  The company’s success in the last two years heralds its further expansion into Europe in 2014 with the opening of new production offices in Zagreb, Tbilisi and Berlin.

"2012 was already a good year, with our highest turnover since going public on the Frankfurt DAX in 2000 and major prizes in the Berlinale including the prestigious Audience prize for The Parade," says Mike Downey who runs the company with Sam Taylor and company chairman Stephen Daldry, "And 2013 was even better as will be proven by the six features and two shorts we are completing now. Our strategy for 2014 is capitalise on that success and embed ourselves even deeper into Europe.  With a potentially record turnover estimated for 2014, we will be in a position to expand and consolidate, and set down more roots in Europe and expand our production finance base. In addition are particularly keen to establish a long term partnership with a German post production facility, much like our former arrangement at Molinare in London."

First feature up for the kids from Fame is a February shoot in Georgia on Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s The President.  Currently casting  (via Wildman Hall) in London and Tbilisi, international sales and French distribution on the film have been taken on by leading French company BAC Films (who also act as French co-producer), and as with EPIC, F&ME are partnering in Georgia with Vladimer Katcharava’s 20 Steps Productions as well as the Caucasian Film Service.  Budget is $ 1,945,504 and Makhmalbaf and Downey have already begun prep in Tbilisi.  Germany’s Herzog and Brümmer co-produce from Berlin.
Also starting shoot in February is Streetkids United II - The Girls from Rio, Brazilian follow up to highly successful Streetkids United, shot during the 2010 Durban Streetchild World Cup in South Africa.  Streetkids was launched in the Generation section of the 2011 Berlinale.  The $995,000 Brazilian budgeted feature doc will be directed by eminent Brazilian documentarian Mara Mourao whose socially aware documentaries Doctors of Happiness and Who Cares? have won numerous awards worldwide.  Brazilian co-producer on the film is Walkiria Barbosa head of one of Rio’s leading production houses, Total Filmes, responsible amongst other for the Brazilian version of High School Musical and organiser of the highly successful RioMarket.

The film is made with the participation of IBISS, an NGO working in the Rio favelas on a number of programmes including soccer, and Stephen Daldry and Beeban Kidron (who now sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Kidron, of Angel in London) who have both recently been in Rio, are acting as official ‘godparents’ and execs on the project.  A co-production with Jamillah van der Hulst and in collaboration with Martin Witsenburg and Witsenburg Natural products.

Moving into production in March is the adaptation of Julian Barnes’ The Porcupine directed by Srdjan Dragojevic and is a co-production between F&ME/Delirium and Poland’s ZaiR, German’s Departures Films, Sektor in Macedonia, Drugi Plan in Croatia, UKR Kino in Ukraine, and Camera Ltd in Bulgaria.  The film will shoot in Bulgaria, Macedonia and the Ukraine and post production is in Poland. The Polish Film Institute recently came on board with a significant investment.  Film is currently budgeted at $ 4,612,800.
Long gestating Cassy and Jude (a full announcement will be made during the 2014 Berlinale) currently budgeted at $ 6,169,244 will shoot in early summer 2014 and will be directed by acclaimed director Marc Evans and international sales will be handled by Germany’s BetaCinema and funders include Film Agency Wales.
F&ME will also partner with Domenico Procacci’s Fandango in Italy to produce Anna Negri’s Con un piede impigliato nella storia.  A personal memoir - 13 year old Anna Negri's happy childhood comes to an abrupt end when her communist activist father is arrested for the kidnap and murder of Aldo Moro. Her mother, preoccupied by the campaign for his release, leaves Anna and her young brother to raise themselves amid the sex, drugs and punk rock of 1970's Rome.

Downey and Taylor  are also partnering with Netherlands’ Isabella Films later in the year on the $ 6,340,600 The Surprise by Academy Award winning director Mike van Diem, a Dutch, German, UK, Ireland, Belgian co-production, the film is currently casting in London (also via Wildman Hall).

Also starting in January is Konstantin Bojanov’s adaptation of William Dalrymples book Nine Lives, entitled In Search of a Miracle.  The film will have a pre-shoot in India in January and will be made in co-production with KinoElektron, Crescendo Films and Overdose.

Other titles going into production in 2014 include Miroslav Momcilovic’s Belgrade  love story  Stinking Fairy Tale, Antonio Nuic’s The Butcher’s Heart, , a soon to be confirmed project with Volker Schloendorff, and a big screen version of Mark Dornford May’s Isango production of The Magic Flute (IMPEMPE YOMLINGO) set for a autumn 2014 shoot in Cape Town and in collaboration with Germany’s Felix Blum of Propeller Film.
"2013 has been a busy and promising year," says F&ME’s co-founder and partner Sam Taylor, "we have made an eclectic bunch of films on an eclectic set of budgets and for a the broad international marketplace.  The excellent year we have had will fund our expansion ambitions in 2014 and also underscore a solid slate for the upcoming year where we are working with some of the most talented film makers working in Europe today.  Germany is a finance and talent powerhouse and a base there will complement our UK cornerstone financing tools, and a centre in Zagreb will allow us to access excellent facilities and services at a price that will put value onto the screen."

Longer term plans are also afoot to set up an affiliate in Warsaw in collaboration with a local production outfit this in addition to the joint venture company already set up by Fame and Vladimer Katcharava in the Georgian capital The Caucasian Film Service is a full service production outfit founded with F&ME to the international film community.  Based at the Georgian film Studios the company  offers full production services from shooting full feature length films, music videos, documentaries, industrial videos or short films as well editing and postproduction . Services are supported best technology and professional expertise with an equipment park, trailers, make-up wagons and full production vehicle line up.

F&ME has had an Epic 2013 and is appropriately coming to the end of the post production period on its film EPIC, directed by Ben Hopkins and written by Pawel Pawlikowski, the film stars Matthew Macfadyen, Myanna Buring and Noah Taylor and is currently in the final stages of sound post production in Tbilisi and Prague and about to begin its final grade in Moscow.  International sales are handled by Stealth Media and it is a UK-Georgia-Russia co-production.

Metro International are handling sales on Julien Temple’s Rio 50 Degrees (formerly Children of the Revolution).  The film is currently delivering and is also produced by Downey and Taylor via their Killerpic subsidiary.  Minority co-producers are Germany’s 2 Pilots and Brazil’s TV Zero.

Other co-productions currently just delivered or at the end of the post production period are the first ever UK-Albanian co-production Amsterdam Express by Fatmir Koci; Berlin sales company Boutique Films’ Monument to Michael Jackson by Darko Lungulov, Srdjan Dragojevic’s Zero to Hero,  Rudolf Bierman’s In-Film production of Alice Nellis’ Angels, Mark Dornford May’s UNOGUMBE  and Tarik Karam’s This is She.

For Further Information please contact:

Tanja Lunardelli
Film and Music Entertainment (53 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7LG, Tel: + 44 207 255 1834, tanja@fame.uk.com)