Fox International Strikes First-Look Deal for Russian-Language Films

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015

The deal with two top industry veterans, Paul Heth and Michael Schlicht, is aimed at expanding Fox production and distribution in Russia.

Fox International Productions (FIP) has struck an exclusive first-look deal for Russian-language movies with Paul Heth and Michael Schlicht, longtime production and distribution partners based in Moscow.

The announcement on Wednesday by FIP president Tomas Jegeus and Twentieth Century Fox (Europe, Middle East and Asia) vp Paul Higginson signals an expansion in Fox production and distribution activities in Russia.

"We are delighted to again be working with Paul and Michael as we expand our production activities in Russia and CIS and look to international distribution opportunities with this new deal," Jegeus said. "Michael and Paul are proven film entrepreneurs who also are forward-thinking, global-minded businessmen."

Heth and Schlicht, who are longtime production partners, both have careers in Russian production and distribution stretching back to the early post-Soviet years of the 1990s. Heth was a partner in Russia's first Dolby-equipped movie theater, Kodak Kino Mir, which opened in Moscow in the early 1990s. Today he is an owner and serves as CEO of Karo, one of Russia's leading cinema chains.

Schlicht, who moved to Moscow from his native East Germany in the early 1990s, is one of Russia's most accomplished film executives who has overseen the release of five of the top 10 grossing local-language films in the past two decades, including Irony of Fate 2 and Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch franchise.

The two Moscow-based executives — who said they looked forward to continuing to develop and invest "in the vision of our Russian-filmmaking partners" — have production credits that include Russia's highest grossing film ever, Stalingrad, the Very Best Movie comedy franchise and Vysotsky: Thank God I am Alive.