IMAGEM SIGNS A CO-PRODUCTION AGREEMENT
WITH AMBER ENTERTAINMENT AND CHICAGOFILMS
FOR NEW MAJOR MOTION PICTURE VERSION OF
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S SOUTH PACIFIC
Imagem, the world's #1 independent music publisher and owner of the Rodgers & Hammerstein copyrights, announced today that it has signed a co-production agreement with Amber Entertainment and Chicagofilms for a new major motion picture version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical, SOUTH PACIFIC.
Denis Wigman, CFO of Imagem and co-founder, has had extensive experience as a film producer, involved in the production and financing of more than 40 international feature films, and will be leading Imagem's role in this new venture, together with Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein. "I am thrilled that Imagem will be a partner in this latest adaptation of SOUTH PACIFIC for the screen," says Wigman. "We see great opportunities to reintroduce this timeless classic to movie audiences all over the world, and it is especially gratifying to work with such industry mavericks as Ileen [Maisel, Amber Entertainment] and GOSFORD PARK's Bob Balaban."
"SOUTH PACIFIC is extraordinary," observes Ted Chapin. "It thrives on stage, but turning it into a new major motion picture is an exciting challenge. Inspired by the stellar production at Lincoln Center Theater, Bob Balaban and Ileen Maisel have seen modern cinematic possibilities that challenge us all to interpret this masterpiece for new generations of filmgoers."
"Producing a new version of SOUTH PACIFIC," says Ileen Maisel, "allows an audience to explore war and racism in a safe and engaging way that will ultimately bring greater understanding to these important topics of our time."
"Our movie will be a tougher, more realistic retelling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences," says Chicagofilms founder Bob Balaban. "We think there's a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance, and exotic locale."
Imagem (AndrÃ© de Raaff, CEO and co-founder) is the #1 independent music publishing company in the world, unique for its leadership role in classical music (Boosey & Hawkes), musicals (Rodgers & Hammerstein), and with catalogues that span pop, rock, jazz, and standards. Founded in 2008 by Dutch firm ABP, one of the world's largest pension funds, in conjunction with Dutch independent publisher/media company CP Masters BV, Imagem began by acquiring music publishing rights in a number of catalogues sold by Universal Publishing, such as Rondor, Zomba, BBC and 19 Music. This was followed by acquiring the world's leading classical music publishing company Boosey & Hawkes (representing the world's leading classical and jazz composers from Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky to John Adams, Wynton Marsalis, and beyond), and Rodgers & Hammerstein (containing the rights to the world's most popular stage and film musicals including THE SOUND OF MUSIC and OKLAHOMA!, and representing hundreds of works by writers including Irving Berlin.) Highlights from Imagem Music's ever-expanding pop catalogue include Phil Collins, Genesis, Temper Trap, Vampire Weekend, M.I.A., and Daft Punk. Imagem is proud to represent such a variety of writers, catalogues, and copyrights, combining the knowledge of experienced music publishers with the newest opportunities for exploitation. www.imagem.com.
About Amber Entertainment
Amber Entertainment was founded in in January 2009. Its 4 founding partners (Ileen Maisel, Mark Ordesky, Lawrence Elman and Jane Fleming) share years of experience working in Hollywood and internationally on films as diverse as LORD OF THE RINGS, DANGEROUS LIAISONS and THE GOLDEN COMPASS for companies including New Line Cinema, Paramount, MGM, the BBC, Sundance, ZDF/Arte and many other broadcasters around the world.
The actor/producer/director Bob Balaban founded Chicagofilms which produced GOSFORD PARK, nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (Julian Fellowes), as well as the British Academy Award for Best British Film, the Golden Globe award for Best Director (Robert Altman), the Writers Guild Award for screenwriting, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for performance. Bob co-starred in the movie and co-created it with director Robert Altman.
He produced and directed the acclaimed HBO film BERNARD AND DORIS, starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes, which earned ten Emmy nominations, three Golden Globe nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, as well as Producers Guild and Directors Guild nominations. This year he directed GEORGIA O'KEEFE, starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, which so far has been nominated for three Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and NAACP awards.
He produced and directed the hit play THE EXONERATED starring Robin Williams, Jill Clayburgh, Stockard Channing, Alanis Morisette and Richard Dreyfuss, among others, which was named "Best Play of the Year" by the New York Times and won the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Court TV's Scales of Justice Award, and the Defender of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Bob wrote the best-selling series of six children's books for Scholastic called McGrowl, and is currently writing a new series for Viking called The Creature from the Seventh Grade, to be released in 2011.
He has co-starred in nearly one hundred movies, including MIDNIGHT COWBOY, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, ABSENCE OF MALICE, ALTERED STATES, DECONSTRUCTING HARRY, THE MEXICAN, THE LADY IN THE WATER, NO RESERVATIONS, and the soon to be released THE CONVINCER and HOWL. He has appeared on Seinfeld as the head of NBC. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in THE INSPECTOR GENERAL on Broadway and an Emmy Award for his performance in HBO's RECOUNT.
About Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
A classic musical romance set during World War II, SOUTH PACIFIC is the winner of Tonys, Oscars, Emmys and the Pulitzer Prize. Based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Tales of the South Pacific, it features a score with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a libretto by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The musical is packed with standards of the R&H catalogue, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "A Wonderful Guy," "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," "Younger Than Springtime" and "This Nearly Was Mine."
Since its Broadway premiere in 1949, SOUTH PACIFIC has been staged all over the world in thousands of productions. It is currently enjoying a smash Broadway revival at Lincoln Center Theater, where it opened in April of 2008 and went on to earn a record-setting 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. A US National Tour is currently booked well into 2011.