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HBO Looks to Bolster Independent Films

3/24/2005 6:12 AM Eastern

Time Warner Inc. reached a deal Thursday aimed at strengthening its presence in independent films.

The media giant’s Home Box Office and New Line Cinema units have acquired the theatrical-distribution arm of Newmarket Entertainment Group and hired Newmarket Films president Bob Berney to run the new, as-yet-unnamed company, AP reported.

HBO and New Line will also jointly fund a new slate of "modestly budgeted" films to be released by the new company, according to AP.

Newmarket has distributed films including Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Charlize Theron film Monster and Whale Rider.

The new company will be based in New York and New Line’s Fine Line Features unit will be folded into it, according to AP.

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