Central Partnership nails down deals

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BERLIN -- Russia's biggest independent distributor and production company, Central Partnership, which handles foreign sales for most major Russian films, has sold three of its films to new territories at the European Film Market.

Vladimir Khotinenko's historical actioner "1612," about the Time of Troubles (circa 1598-1613), was bought by Flyn & Peliculas for Spain, ITI for Poland and Media Pro for Romania. Central Partnership's own production, the $6 million boxing actioner "Revenge," sold to EuropaCorp. for France and Ocean Pictures for Brazil.

Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar-nominated "12 Angry Men" adaptation, "12," has been sold to Sony Pictures Classics for North America, Flyn & Peliculas for Spain, Hollywood CE for the Czech Republic and Seven Films for Greece.

In addition to foreign sales, Central Partnership also has signed an agreement with Endeavor. In a deal formalized by Central Partnership Sales House president Armen Dishdishyan and Endeavor partner Bryan Besser, the agency will represent Russian directors working with Central Partnership, act as sales agent for Central Partnership product in North America and organize joint productions with U.S. majors. Central Partnership has first refusal rights on projects and distribution.

Dishdishyan said that Central Partnership's newest projects could benefit from the deal.

The company is developing two genre films at the moment. Alexei Sidorov's sci-fi horror project "Pluton" is kind of like an "Event Horizon" on Earth, as oil drilling near the North Pole unleashes the forces of hell. The $15 million film is now in preproduction and is planned to be shot on location in the Arctic.

The other project is the $4 million "Ghosts," the latest from Anton Megerdichev ("Revenge)," a supernatural thriller involving ghosts and witches. It also is in preproduction.
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