Veil lifts on first Transmission project

By Simon de Bruyn

After just one week of business, the distribution partnership between Paramount Pictures International and newly formed distributor, Transmission, has announced The Painted Veil as its first acquisition – stoking industry speculation that the new business is being positioned to take over Paramount Vantage product.

Transmission is the new venture from departing Dendy executives Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie, which opened its doors on February 4. In an exclusive deal, the duo said it will partner with Paramount to co-acquire and distribute local and international projects.

When the partnership was announced, Payten told Inside Film they would be looking at films of the same type as the ones they bought at Dendy, but lean towards bigger films.

‘We’ll step up a level with the types of film we’ll be buying, and be moving away from the smaller titles a bit, and moving towards interesting crossover titles,’ he said.

Since the deal was announced, there has been some speculation from senior industry executives that Transmission will eventually take over from Paramount Vantage, or at least this brand will be scaled back locally. Payten has hosed this down, suggesting the two would work in a friendly competition with one another.

‘Our projects will be very much in the same style as Paramount Vantage product, and I guess there will be occasions where we’ll both want to do the same film. But we have an open discussion with them so I don’t see it being a problem,’ he said.

The Painted Veil is directed by John Curran and produced by Naomi Watts and Edward Norton who star in the film alongside Liev Schreiber. It is in Australian cinemas from April 24.