By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES ACQUIRES REMAKE RIGHTS TO THE BENGALI DETECTIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Specialty Arm Acquires Worldwide Remake Rights

PARK CITY, UT January 24, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis announced today that the company has acquired worldwide remake rights from Native Voice Films to the entertaining original feature documentary, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, directed by Philip Cox and produced by Giovanna Stopponi, Annie Sundberg and Himesh Kar.

“We adored this film and are delighted to have the chance to work with such entertaining, funny material. We were charmed by this story of a dedicated husband and self-made detective who dreams big,” said Lewis.

“We are thrilled that Fox Searchlight has fallen in love with our leading man Rajesh and his wild adventures as a detective in Kolkata.  Fox Searchlight has an amazing track record of bringing stories set in India to a worldwide audience, and we are excited to be sharing this journey with them,” said director Phil Cox and The Bengali Detective team.

In THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, Calcutta’s criminal underworld is explored by intrepid private eye Rajesh Ji.  Following both his investigations and Rajesh’s pursuit of his dream to dance on Indian TV, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE provides a look at modern India through the eyes of one of its most unlikely heroes.

The deal was brokered on Fox Searchlight’s side by Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien with Andrew Hurwitz of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP on behalf of Native Voice Films.  Creative Executive Richard Gold will oversee development for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES A UNIT OF FOX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas