Cannes 2012: Constantin Sets Market Marker With Mister Smith

Film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz tells THR Mister Smith is in negotiations to deliver high-end English-language content.

CANNES – German indie giant Constantin Film is going back to the future with Mister Smith, the joint sales operation it launched with ex-Summit Entertainment executive David Garrett just two weeks ago.

Speaking to THR, Constantin film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz compared the neophyte sales shingle to Summit, back when Constantin co-founded the company in 1991 and before the group went public and got bought by Lionsgate.

“Back when Summit started, it was our company but of course Summit doesn’t exist anymore,” Moszkowicz said. “They are still our partner for several films, like our [3D animated film] Tarzan but we thought there was a space in the market for an independent sales company that can handle really high quality projects for the international market.”

Moszkowicz said Mister Smith is in negotiations with several third-party producers to deliver high-end English-language content to feed the company’s sales machine. Constantin itself does not have an output arrangement with Mister Smith but will decide on a “project-by-project basis” which titles Garrett will handle.

Mister Smith has gotten off to a stellar start at its inaugural Cannes market, virtually selling out its teen supernatural title The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones before Cannes even kicked off. The first in a planned six-film franchise based on the novels by Cassandra Clare, the first Mortal Instruments is set to deliver next summer, with Sony handling the domestic release. Garrett has also racked up multiple sales for Mister Smith’s only other title, 3096, the true-life story of Austrian kidnapping victim Natascha Kampusch.