MatthewJustice, the producer who has headed production activities at the successful UKfinancier Invicta Capital, is to strike out on his own.
Justice istaking full control of the production company ICL Films that he set-up forInvicta which he joined in late 2001. Renamed as Lunar Films, the company willcontinue to plough the European production, co-production and co-financingfurrows that Justice and Invicta worked together.
"Thecompany is now completely under my control," said Justice, who is joined by ICL'sIra Zloczower, now promoted to head of production. "We have everything we needincluding cash and the rights to start production immediately."
Lunar isset as the UK co-producer of Cedric Klapisch's recently greenlit RussianDolls (Les Poupees Russes), a sequel to the French director's hit L'AubergeEspanole. The film is produced by Bruno Levy, with whose productioncompanies Move Movie and Ce Qui Me Meut Justice previously made Bienvenue AuGite and Casablanca Driver.
"I want toreach out to Europe. The relationship with Bruno, for instance is aboutwell-made, audience-friendly European films," said Justice.
Justice,who was previously closely associated with Stephen Norrington, thefantasy-horror talent who directed Blade, has now closed-down or mothballed hisother production and co-production labels, which included Venom Entertainment and Driftwood, and severed ties with Chris Coen's Los Angeles-based Halcyon Entertainment. "This is me from now on," Justicesaid. "We will be looking to build up a library of rights, we are not simply inthe fee-chasing business."
One factorinfluencing his decision to go independent may be the upheavals in the UKproduction scene. "I have seen the UK's independent production environmentchange so much in the last three years," said Justice. But he insists that hisdecision to move on had been agreed with his Invicta bosses before "blackTuesday", the UK government's 10 Feb decision to close equity finance schemes."We look forward to a close relationship with Matthew," said Invicta chief MoYusef.