US independent producers Inferno Distribution, Bob YariProductions and Internationalmedia are being lined up as possible sources ofprojects for a new Academy Film Fund launched by ABN Amro's private bankDelbrueck Bethmann Maffei (DBM).

The Academy Film Fund aims to have a volume of at leastEuros 50m and would finance the production of three features for theinternational market.

According to the Academy Film Fund prospectus, the fund hasalready concluded a framework agreement with Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson'sInferno Distribution for them to submit at least three projects forconsideration in time for an investors meeting on December 23. Bob YariProductions and Internationalmedia - both of whom have worked with the Academyfunds in the past - were also being approached to offer projects.

The first Academy fund was launched in 2001 by the Commerzbank toraise Euros 140m which were invested in two Franchise Pictures productions: Ballistic:Ecks vs Sever, starring Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu, and the actioncomedy The In-Laws, with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks. This wasfollowed a year later by another fund which produced the Bruce Willis actioncomedy The Whole Ten Yards with Franchise and two Internationalmediaprojects: the Pierce Brosnan/Julianne Moore romantic comedy Laws OfAttraction and the Owen and Luke Wilson comedy drama The Wendell BakerStory.

In2003, ABN Amro took over the running of the Academy funds and placed thirdtranche. At their initial meeting in December 2003, the investors decided toinvest a total of Euros 42m in Stratus Film's Tishomingo Blues andInternationalmedia's Me Again.