Zaillian, Mandate go 'Far'


Steve Zaillian and Mandate Pictures have purchased Swedish photojournalist Jens Assur's screenplay "Close Far Away" for Film Rites, their new production co-venture.

Assur is attached to direct the dramatic thriller for the shingle, which has a first-look deal with Sony Pictures. Set in Europe, Africa and the U.S., "Away" follows several characters put into vulnerable situations whose actions carry global consequences.

Zaillian will produce the feature, and Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Film Rites' Garrett Basch brought in the project and will oversee it with Mandate's Nicole Brown.

Assur won the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival best narrative short award for his writing and directing debut, "The Last Dog in Rwanda." Mandate's Dan Freedman brokered the deals on behalf of Film Rites. (partialdiff)