Anatoly Fradis of Alfa FilmEnterprises Inc and Joseph N Cohen of American Entertainment Investors Inc haveformed a new film investment outfit called Marching Band Productions. Fradisand Cohen have already closed their first deal for the company - forthree pictures with Nigel Sinclair and Guy East of Spitfire Productions kickingoff with "significant" equity funding to Spitfire's firstfeature Masked & Anonymousstarring Bob Dylan, Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Lange and directedby Larry Charles.
Currently shooting in theUS, Masked & Anonymous isproduced by Sinclair on behalf of Spitfire alongside Destiny Productions andBBC Films. East and Sinclair's former company Intermedia is handlingworldwide sales.
Funded byleading Russian industrial corporations, Marching Band's initial capitalis $20 million, but the two prinicipals expect this sum to grow considerablyover the next year based on the resources of its investors.
"Today, there are a number of major Russiancorporations which generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year inrevenues and cash flow and which are looking to expand their investmenthorizons beyond the Russian Federation," said Fradis in a statement."Through my contacts and Joe's expertise in structuring the mostintelligent strategies for motion picture investment we have attracted asignificant amount of capital which, following our disciplined approach to filminvestment, should enable us to develop a valuable library over time and earnan attractive rate of return for our investors."
MarchingBand's business strategy is to be the primary equity investor on filmswhich are pre-sellable either as sequels to successful theatrical releases orwhich have high-profile casts at reasonable budgets, of which Masked &Anonymous is consideredan example.
MarchingBand's preferred investment size is $3-$5 million. The Company is innegotiations on several new projects and expects to announce its secondinvestment shortly.
Fradis and Cohenoriginally met when Cohen was president of Largo Entertainment and Fradis,representing the Russian film studio Mosfilm in the US and Canada, assistedLargo in organizing the Russian shoot for Back in the USSR starring Roman Polanski and FrankWhaley.