UK-based finance outfit Cascade Pictures is launching with first-look deals in place with producers Jessica Parker and Jessica Malik of Pari Passu Films and Tom Butterfield and Emily Man of Culmination Productions.
Cascade is being launched by former Icon UK CFO Mark Fisher, who is joined by Cora Palfrey, the former European CFO of Exclusive Media Group (as COO), and Daniel Campos Pavoncelli (formerly of the Rome Film Festival, Exclusive Media and Fandango Portobello) as Acquisitions and Development Executive.
The company plans to make equity investments up to about 30-35% of a film’s budget. In the first year, it will mostly invest in films of budgets of $5m or under, rising to $15m+ budgets in years to come. The company will back four to six films in its first year, likely growing to about 8 in year 2.
Fisher noted: “We will work across all genres. We’re not sticking to any one genre.” Cascade will concentrate on English-language projects.
Cascade Media Development, the company’s arm that will option and develop film and TV projects, is kicking off with a Seed EIS fund of GBP 150,000. “There is a bit more freedom on the development side, we want to look for new writers and projects and books to develop on our own,” said Campos Pavoncelli.
Culmination, which has Gavin James and Clare Wise as advisors, is working with Cascade on productions including romantic comedy Festival Calling, teen thriller Vanishing Act, action film Hustle (with American Pie producer Craig Perry on board), and action thriller The Arbitrator. Butterfield worked on the American Pie series before joining the UK Film Council.
Fisher said: “We love the slate, it makes sense creatively and it’s a diverse range of projects.”
Pari Passu is currently in post on genre film January, and its development slate also includes Corin Hardy’s Fest. Malik is an executive producer of Eran Riklis’ TIFF title Zaytoun. Malik was an executive at Capital Films and Exclusive Media. Parker, who was at CinemaNX, has worked on productions including Stormbreaker, TT3D and The Disappearance of Alice Creed.
Campos Pavoncelli added: “It’s a fantastic combination because they have the two sides of the business, they are looking at new projects while also looking at what works in the marketplace. They are young and ambitious…both are young producers who really have a vision.”
Fisher noted: “The ethos is to find new writers and producers, to work with that new talent out there.” The company will unveil a new talent initiative next month.
Palfrey added: “We want longevity and to grow relationships, to work with new talents and grow together. It’s key to form good relationships.”
Palfrey and Campos Pavoncelli are attending TIFF.