Universal partners with Hopscotch

Universal Pictures International has signed a two-year first-look deal with Hopscotch Features, aiming to develop and produce “one or two” Australian projects with international appeal.

“This partnership is a fantastic outcome for Hopscotch Features as it gives us international expertise and muscle to make more larger scale local features. It is also a great result for the Australian industry in general as it shows real studio commitment to our cinema landscape and specifically the local talent that makes it happen,” said Hopscotch’s Troy Lum.

Mike Baard, managing director of UPI Australia, said the company had been looking for the right partner since the new Universal theatrical business was set up in 2006, ” a partner with whom to develop locally produced content for both Australian and international audiences. I am delighted that Universal and Hopscotch can combine our expertise to fulfill this ambition.”

Universal has similar arrangements in Germany (UFA) and Italy (Cattleya), but this is the first alliance the studio has reached for an English-language market.

The projects will be distributed by UPI and Hopscotch in Australia.

Hopscotch Features is a collaboration between Hopscotch, writer John Collee and producer Andrew Mason. In 2009, the company received Screen Australia’s Enterprise funding, and is currently developing projects with Stephan Elliott, Rachel Ward, Chris Noonan, Clayton Jacobson and Ray Lawrence.


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