SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--Image Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), has landed all U.S. rights to the highly-anticipated film Day of the Falcon. Starring Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro, Once Upon a Time in Mexico), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock Holmes), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet), Day of the Falcon is a $40 million production directed by Academy Award™ winner Jean-Jacques Annaud. The announcement was made by Image Entertainment’s Chief Acquisition Officer, Bill Bromiley at the 2012 American Film Market.
“I’m proud that American audiences will now have the opportunity to experience Day of the Falcon for themselves”
Image plans to release the film theatrically after an ultra-VOD release in first quarter 2013. Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures International released the film overseas. The film had its worldwide premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last year.
“This is a terrific film for Image,” commented Bromiley. “Day of the Falcon has an amazing cast, an award-winning director and terrific visuals. It is truly an epic film and we are proud to be releasing it here in the U.S.”
“I’m proud that American audiences will now have the opportunity to experience Day of the Falcon for themselves,” said Quinta Communications president Tarak Ben Ammar. “Image Entertainment and Bill have been passionate about the film from the outset. We believe the timing is perfect for a film that sweeps audiences into the heart of the Arabian Peninsula and promises excitement for the whole family.”
Day of the Falcon is the story of the rivalry between two Emirs in the Arabia Peninsula in the early 20th Century just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young dynamic leader who unites the tribes of the desert kingdom. This epic adventure is an adaptation of Hans Ruesch’s classic novel “The Great Thirst” and is a co-production between Quinta Communications and Doha Film Institute. It was shot in Tunisia and Qatar and the cast and crew were first hand witnesses to the birth of the Arab Spring in Tunisia as they filmed during the revolution there. Day of the Falcon is one of the most ambitious feature films ever to be shot, set and financed out of the Arab world for international audiences.
The deal was negotiated by Bill Bromiley and Jess DeLeo on behalf of Image Entertainment and by Jeff Berg as well as Brigitte Segal and Tarak Ben Ammar of Quinta Communications for the film.
About Quinta Communications
Founded in 1990 by Tarak Ben Ammar, Quinta Communications is a pan-European media group with interests in film and TV production and distribution. The group’s assets include Eagle Pictures, the leading independent Italian film distributor which released all the Twilight films as well as Oscar™-winning The King's Speech and many others. Other Italian assets include Prima TV, which includes three free-to-air Sports Italia channels as well as a digital pay bouquet of ten channels, with exclusive deals with Warner Bros and Universal, and semi-exclusive deals with Disney and Mediaset.
Quinta is also a partner in Nessma TV, the first and leading private satellite channel covering the Maghreb. The channel is a market leader in both Tunisia and Algeria and is steadily increasing its market share with audiences in Libya and Morocco, as well as North African and Arab audiences in Europe. Quinta also owns film studios and sets in Tunisia as well as a stake in Luc Besson’s newly opened Cite Du Cinema located in Paris.
Tarak Ben Ammar is a board member of The Weinstein Company, Mediobanca and Telecom Italia.
About RLJ Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,200 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical. Via its majority-owned subsidiary Agatha Christie Limited, RLJE controls the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billings relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its branded digital subscription channels, and engages a distinct audience with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.