CCI following 'Iron Road' down the family film path

China co-prod'n first on 6-picture slate

Canadian producer CCI Entertainment on Monday unveiled a six-picture family film slate that includes the Chinese-Canadian co-production "Iron Road," starring Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill.

Arnie Zipursky, co-chairman and CEO of Toronto-based CCI, said the move into family movies began with "Road," a project whose partners include Britain's Alchemy Television and China Film House, a consortium of Chinese investors led by Hengdian Studios consultant Tiger Yu.

The movie, a 19th century love story set against the building of Canada's railroad by Chinese immigrants, has just completed principal photography and also will be sold internationally as a TV miniseries. It was directed by David Wu, who began his career as John Woo's editor.

CCI also is pacting with Argentinian producer Nearly Normal Prods. to co-produce "The Connor Rourke Chronicles," a series of family adventure movies that will start production in the fall on two installments, "The Myth of Gaia" and "The Spear of Destiny."

The first two Connor Rourke titles, set for delivery in spring 2009, will be shot in Buenos Aires. They follow the adventures of a young woman (Connor) and her father.

CCI also has plans to shoot in Mexico and Canada "No Mountain Too High," a telefilm for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that is based on the book by Ned Levitt. Vancouver-based Dennis Foon adapted the screenplay.

Rounding out the CCI family movie slate is "Cracked," an action-adventure project with Toronto-based TV producer Mirkin Creative that will be sold either as two telefilms or a miniseries.

The move into family movies with international partners follows CCI's opening of a Los Angeles office last September as it expanded into brand licensing for its core animation and live-action product.