Aegis Film Fund (Aegis), a newly launched debt fund in the UK, intends to invest up to $50 million in films, with a focus on high budget productions.

The fund will invest in film and media content through short to medium term loans and debt, including discounting of government tax credits and pre-sales contracts, basic gap funding and secured bridge financing.

Aegis has committed to its first three projects, the first of which is Mat Whitecross’ Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. It tells the story of English singer-songwriter Ian Dury.

Details of the next two projects, one of which is with Ealing Studios, will be announced in the coming weeks.   

Speaking to ScreenDaily, Aegis director Tim Smith said: “We are looking at the commerciality of the project, the strength of the sales agent and the quality of the producer.”

The fund has up to $50 million to commit this year and is focussing on top end independent productions in the $8m to $25m budget range with an established group of producers.

Smith added: “In the current financial climate we are seeking to provide competitive finance that, to a certain extent, is helping to fill the gap left by the European banks. On certain projects, equity can also be made available from other Prescience managed funds.”

Aegis Capital Partners, a UK partnership set up by Prescience Film Finance, Chancery (UK) LLP and city executives Chris Smith and Colin Brumpton are advisors to the fund.

The fund is headed up by Tim Smith who is also Prescience Film Finance’s managing director and Peter Nichols, Senior Partner at Chancery (UK) LLP.