MPG opens arm for int'l sales


CANNES -- Maitland Primrose Group is launching an international film sales and distribution division, Moving Pictures Film and Television, with a slate of more than six features for the Festival de Cannes market.

The division will be run by newly appointed MPG vp Ted Chalmers, who will oversee operations, sales and acquisitions for the company's recently launched U.S. theatrical and video label, Maitland Primrose Film Distribution, as well as its new international sister arm. He will report to MPG president Margaret Tritch.

Chalmers, most recently head of worldwide distribution for Creative Light Entertainment, has more than 17 years of film and TV distribution experience, including the marketing and sales of such films as "Crimes of the Heart," "Heathers," "The Graduate" and "One False Move."

"Ted reflects our brand's commitment to providing audiences with the best in independent filmmaking and message-based films, which will be showcased at this year's Cannes Film Market," Tritch said.

The titles MPFT will be selling include:

-- The comedy "Think Tank," producers Chris Wyatt and Brian Peterson's follow-up to their hit film "Napoleon Dynamite" that centers on four self-proclaimed geniuses who attempt to save their beloved pool hall hangout from closing;

-- Unusual hybrid docu "The American Ruling Class," which includes interviews with James Baker, Walter Cronkite, the late Robert Altman and the late Kurt Vonnegut mixed with musical numbers examining members of the U.S. upper class;

-- Documentary "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED," a film produced and directed by Daphne Zuniga and Steven Latham that examines the influential think-tank conference on technology, entertainment and design with footage featuring Al Gore, Lawrence Bender and Peter Gabriel;

-- "The Way Back Home," a faith-based drama of one man's journey home to help his ailing grandmother, featuring Ruby Dee and Julie Harris;

-- Writer-director Nicola Scott's "Fated," a romantic fable about an artist who brings his dead girlfriend to life from a churchyard statue;

-- The family film "Baranov's Castle -- The Movie," which tells the story of Russian Alaska's first governor, Alexander Baranov, through the use of puppets.

Also, MPFT has packaged "Moving Pictures Short Films," a collection of award-winning animated, documentary and narrative shorts that can be viewed at the Short Film Corner in the Palais.

"These films are indicative of the independent vision found in all aspects of this company, and I look forward to delivering them to audiences around the world," Chalmers said.

MPG, based in Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles, is also the parent organization of the quarterly Moving Pictures Magazine, Web site and Moving Pictures Short Film Contests held in the U.S.