Robert Lantos launches Maximum Films

    Charlotte Mickie Named Managing Director - Maximum Films International

    Anthony Cianciotta Named Managing Director, English Canada - Maximum Film

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - Producer Robert Lantos, founder and former
Chairman/CEO of Alliance Communications Inc., today announced his return to
international and domestic film distribution with the formation of two new
companies, Maximum Films International and Maximum Film Distribution. The move
reunites Lantos with two of his key former Alliance executives - Charlotte
Mickie and Anthony Cianciotta.

                         Maximum Films International

    Charlotte Mickie will serve as Managing Director of Maximum Films
International. Mickie spent 20 years working under Lantos at Alliance -
ultimately as President of Alliance Film International. Following Lantos' sale
of his controlling interest in Alliance, Mickie departed and assumed
responsibilities as Managing Director at Paris-based film sales agent
Celluloid Dreams. Throughout her career, Ms. Mickie has acquired and sold
works by many of the world's most acclaimed filmmakers, including Atom Egoyan,
Michael Haneke, Michael Moore, Denys Arcand, François Ozon, David Cronenberg
Todd Haynes, Neil Labutte, Deepa Mehta, Todd Solondz, Jean-Claude Lauzon,
Robert Lepage, Patricia Rozema and Alan Ball. With more than 25 years in the
field of international sales, Ms. Mickie is considered one of the world's most
respected names in the area of specialty film.
    "I have enormous respect for Robert, and it is wonderful to join a
company where I know and adore so many of the people involved," Mickie said.
"Robert was a true pioneer in the business, transforming Canada's film
distribution landscape and building Alliance into a significant force in
international film sales. I have no doubt that his return to the business will
provide filmmakers with a formidable advocate for their commercial and
artistic best interests."
    Maximum Film International will acquire, promote and sell independent
films from around the world for theatrical release. Its initial slate - which
will be launched at the Toronto International Film Festival in September is:
    "Fugitive Pieces", written and directed by Jeremy Podeswa, starring
Stephen Dillane, Rade Sherbedgia, Rosamund Pike and Ayelet Zurer, produced by
Robert Lantos. It will be the Opening Night Gala at the Festival.
    "My Winnipeg", written and directed by Guy Maddin. The film is a
Documentary Channel original production commissioned by executive producer
Michael Burns and produced by Jody Shapiro and Phyllis Laing. It will be a
Special Presentation at this year's Festival.
    "Before the Rains", directed by Santosh Sivan and starring Linus Roache,
Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and Jennifer Ehle, produced by Doug Mankoff, Andrew
Spaulding, Paul Hardart, Tom Hardart and Mark Burton. The film is a Special
Presentation at this year's Festival.
    "Real Time", written and directed by Randall Cole, starring Academy Award
nominee Randy Quaid and Jay Baruchel ("Knocked Up"), produced by Julia
Rosenberg, Paula Devonshire and Ari Lantos. The film is currently in
    "Adoration", written and directed by Academy Award nominee Atom Egoyan,
starring Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard and Arsinée Khanjian, produced by
Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss, which begins shooting September 17th in
    "Cold Souls", written & directed by Sophie Barthes, starring Paul
Giamatti and produced by Dan Carey, Paul Mezey, Elizabeth Giamatti, Jeremy
Kipp Walker, which begins shooting in December, 2007.
    "Charlotte has played a vital role in helping my films find an
international audience," said Egoyan. "She's highly respected around the world
for her great taste and business sense. I'm thrilled to continue this
    "It's an enormous pleasure for me to be working with Charlotte Mickie
again after our successful and very happy collaboration on 'The Five Senses',
which Charlotte executive produced," said Podeswa. "She is simply the best
foreign sales agent for films of artistic quality, bringing to them
exceptional taste and sensitivity."

                          Maximum Film Distribution

    Tony Cianciotta will serve as Managing Director of Maximum Film
Distribution, English Canada. Maximum will acquire Canadian rights to quality
films from Canada, the US and the rest of the world either through long term
supply agreements or on an individual film-by-film basis. It will enter into
strategic partnerships with both domestic and international producers and
distributors during development and production in exchange for Canadian
rights. Maximum will distribute its films in English and French in all media.
    "I'm delighted to be working closely with Robert again," said Cianciotta.
"I've always admired his business acumen and tremendous insight, and I am very
pleased to be a part of this exciting undertaking."
    Mr. Cianciotta was previously Senior Vice President and General Manager
of Alliance Releasing, the film distribution division of Alliance
Communications Corporation, the powerhouse Canadian entertainment company
co-founded by Lantos. Cianciotta played a key role in the establishment of
Alliance Releasing as the dominant force in Canadian film distribution,
developing and maintaining longstanding relationships with such key U.S. film
production and distribution companies as New Line, Miramax and Samuel Goldwyn.
Cianciotta was responsible for the Canadian distribution and marketing of such
films as "Pulp Fiction", "Trainspotting", "The English Patient", "The Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles" franchise, "Austin Powers" and "Cinema Paradiso". Prior
to joining Alliance, he was Senior Vice-President of Cineplex Odeon
Corporation and Vice-President and General Manager of 20th Century Fox,
    Maximum's initial Canadian release slate will include "Fugitive Pieces",
the Cannes 2007 Camera D'Or winner "Jelly Fish", Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic
Flute", Atom Egoyan's "Adoration", Santosh Sivan's "Before the Rains", and
Sophie Barthes' "Cold Souls".
    Maximum has just signed an output deal with IFC Films, for the Canadian
rights to all of its feature films. IFC Films is a leading theatrical film
distribution company bringing the best of independent and specialized films to
theaters in the United States. Recent films included the 2002 Oscar-nominated
films "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mama Tambien".
Upcoming films to be distributed in Canada by Maximum Films include Hou Hsiao
Hsien's "The Flight of the Red Balloon", and Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park".
    Long-time Lantos associate Mark Musselman will oversee business affairs
for both the international and domestic operations - working alongside Mickie
and Cianciotta.

    Producer Robert Lantos' two current films are "Eastern Promises" directed
by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, which has its
World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and "Fugitive
Pieces", the Opening Night Gala at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Other recent producing credits include, "Where the Truth Lies", the Golden
Globe Winner and Oscar nominated "Being Julia", Genie Best Picture winner
"Ararat", the Canadian box office hit "Men With Brooms", Golden Globe
nominated and Genie Best Picture Winner "Sunshine", Berlin Silver Bear Winner
"eXistenZ", Academy Award nominated and Cannes Grand Prix Winner "The Sweet
Hereafter", Cannes Jury Prize Winner "Crash", Golden Reel Winner "Johnny
Mnemonic" and the Golden Reel & Genie Best Picture Winner "Black Robe".

For further information:

For further information: Wendy Saffer, Serendipity Point Films, T: (416)
967-7074; Brigitte Chabot, Brigitte Chabot Communications, T: (514) 861-7870;
Kelly Mullens, 42 West, T: (310) 477-4442

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