WIP makes a Bona Fide deal


Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa's Bona Fide Prods. has signed a two-year first-look deal with Warner Independent Pictures.

The move sweeps Berger and Yerxa into WIP's fold, where they are already producing an adaptation of the Tom Perrotta book "The Abstinence Teacher."

The project puts the duo back in business with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who helmed the little-movie-that-could "Little Miss Sunshine" for the producers. It also reunites Berger and Yerxa with Perrotta, who co-authored the script for the adaptation of his novel "Little Children," which they also produced last year to much acclaim. Perrotta is adapting his own book.

"It seemed like a logical flow for us because they aggressively obtained 'The Abstinence Teacher' in a very satisfying and proactive way which allowed us to bring Val and Jon together on a book that we thought was really great," said Yerxa about Bona Fide's decision to set up shop at WIP. "We got to know them and felt like they are a freewheeling, break-the-rules kind of company that we like to be associated with."

About the films the duo hope to make at WIP, Berger said: "We're looking to make provocative movies that explore the culture in one way or another. And we like to work with strong emerging filmmakers. We see ourselves as bridging the independent world with the studio world."

Berger and Yerxa formed Bona Fide in 1993 and had first-look deals at Paramount Pictures as well as Focus Features and New Line Cinema. Along for the move to WIP is Carlo Martinelli, the company's vp of development.

Berger and Yerxa's producing credits include "Bee Season," "The Ice Harvest," "Cold Mountain," "Election," "The Wood" and "King of the Hill."
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