Fox forms new branch for international film, TV fare

Mon May 12, 2008 11:32pm EDT

Writer, producer and director J.J. Abrams arrives at an event in Los Angeles, California, February 21, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Writer, producer and director J.J. Abrams arrives at an event in Los Angeles, California, February 21, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox Filmed Entertainment has expanded its international film unit by forming Fox International Prods., which will produce, co-finance, distribute and acquire local-language films in the key territories of Japan, Germany, India and Russia.

Heading the new branch will be veteran studio executive Sanford Panitch, who is moving over from his seven-year stint as president of filmed entertainment at New Regency, which has a partnership deal with Fox. Before that, Panitch was executive vice president of production at Fox for five years.

In his 12 years with Fox and Regency, Panitch has been responsible for overseeing production on some of the studio's most successful titles, including "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "The Fugitive," "Seven" and "Titanic."

Although various divisions of News Corp. are in the international film and TV market, the studio has never organized its global projects under one roof until now.

Based in Los Angeles, FIP's initiative includes complementing Fox's worldwide releases by partnering with local producers and filmmakers in producing local-language films. The studio is actively discussing equity financing with several investment funds interested in the international productions.

"Our slate will include films targeted for the markets in which they are made and some pictures for a broader international audience," Panitch said.

FIP also will be involved in TV projects and partner with other News Corp. companies, including Star, Sky and MySpace.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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