Alliance Atlantis Corp (AAC) has downscaled its Equicap structured financing division as part of a overall strategy to concentrate on its core film and TV production and distribution businesses.

In a release, AAC chief financial officer W. Judson Martin described the move as a transition "from active to passive participation" in film entertainment financing.

Equicap will enter a joint venture with Canadian investment house Sentinel Hill Ventures Corp to create a new entity, Sentinel Hill Alliance Atlantis Equicap Limited Partnership. The Partnership will be owned 70% by Sentinel Hill and 30% by Alliance Atlantis Equicap as limited partners, and will have offices in Toronto and Vancouver. Equipcap president Jeff Rayman will leave the company at the end of March.

Meanwhile, AAC has acquired all Canadian rights for five pictures from John Fremes' Fusion International. Fremes was previously president of AAC's genre outfit Le Monde and launched Fusion at Mifed 1999.

The films are The Heist, Crush Depth, Meglodon, The Machinist - all in pre-production - and the completed Stranger.