EXCLUSIVE: Bluestone Entertainment, the U.S. production firm led by former New Line, Artisan and TWC Dimension production exec Richard Saperstein, is teaming up with state-backed Hungarian investment outfit Széchenyi Funds on a ten-picture financing deal over five years.
Under the deal, films will span all genres, with budgets ranging from $10-20M. Principal photography will take place primarily in Budapest, Hungary.
The first film under the partnership is the previously announced psychological sci-fi thriller Slingshot, directed by Mikael Håfström, starring Oscar-winner Casey Affleck and Tony and Emmy Award-winner Laurence Fishburne.
WME Independent is handling world sales and will give the project a market debut at Cannes this month, where the company will unveil the first footage.
Slingshot is about an astronaut struggling to maintain his grip on reality aboard a possibly fatally compromised mission to Saturn’s moon, Titan. The film also features Cannes Best Actress Award-winner Emily Beecham, Tomer Capone, and David Morrissey.
Screenplay is written by R. Scott Adams and Nathan Parker. Pic is currently in post-production and produced by Saperstein (Halloween) and István Major.
“We had a terrific experience producing Slingshot in Budapest and were impressed by the outstanding local crew and resources,” said Richard Saperstein, Chairman of Bluestone Entertainment. “Széchenyi Funds has been a supportive and collaborative partner, and we look forward to producing quality feature films for a global film audience.”
Dénes Jobbágy, Chairman of Széchenyi Funds, added: “Working together on Slingshot, we found Bluestone Entertainment exemplified the quality and expertise we were seeking in a production partnership. Supporting content creation has become an important new part of Széchenyi Funds’ strategy to turn Hungary from an outstanding production partner to a full-fledged player in the film industry.”
During his career, production vet Saperstein has served as an exec producer on movies including Seven, Frequency, John Q, The Punisher, 1408, The Mist, and Sony’s hit Hancock, which he had originally acquired for Artisan.