The ambitious joint bid by Australia's Macquarie Bank and the Nine Network to raise $35.1m (A$62.5m) from private investors has fallen considerably short of the target with the result that only two features will be produced rather than the hoped-for eight.
But although only $13.3m (A$23.6m) was raised by the time the deadline passed on Friday (June 28), the two partners immediately declared that they will be doing a similar raising next year.
"Given the tough market we felt it was a good achievement," said Jennie Hughes, vice president of investment and distribution at Macquarie Filmed Investments. "We would have liked more but investors have been acting very conservatively since September 11."
The two films that will be produced as a result are the comedy thriller Under The Radar, by director Chris Fitchett and producer Chris Brown, and the comedy drama Gettin' Square, by Better Than Sex director Jonathan Teplitzky, and producers Trish Lake and Mushroom Pictures' Martin Fabinyi. The rest of the money will be used to produce two television series and a telefeature.
Hughes said it was very positive that two films were being fully financed as a result of the raising without the need to call on supplementary funding from government agencies. About $47.7m (A$85m) worth of film and television projects had now gone through Macquarie Bank since it entered the production financing sector several years ago.