London-based film financingand production company Future Films is launching a new US office with the aimof cash flowing the growing number of state-sponsored film productionincentives. Simon Horsman will be CEO of Future Films USA LLC, which will bebased in Los Angeles.
Future's US arm will havemore direct contact with projects and partners in Hollywood and the US, hopingto increase the communication between US and European partners. In addition tofinancing the US state tax rebates and credits, Future will also arrange bridgeor gap finance, co-productions, production assistance and legal advice.
Future's CEO StephenMargolis told Screen International that the US office would soon expand withthe hiring of someone skilled in the US film production community and a thirdstaffer to be the creative link between US and European projects.
"We are offering a lending arrangement secured againststate incentives that puts producers in control of the process," saidHorsman, a lawyer who had recently been VP of PriceGrabber.com. "Futurecash-flows the tax credits and rebates by providing immediate funds directly toproducers." Future will make a return on the interest charged on itsloans. "Under our program, unlike our competitors, the producer keeps thedifference," Horsman noted. "We provide overall production assistanceand advice, bringing as many resources as possible to a producer."
"I think that whilstfilmmaking in Canada was all the rage, and then it was in Eastern Europe,making films in America is going to be all the rage because of all these stateincentives and the weakness of the dollar," added Margolis. "It'simportant for us to establish a bridgehead there. This is a move for FutureFilms from being just a sale-and-leaseback operation into an integrated filmproduction company."
Future has already established close ties to UScompany Pierce Williams, with nearby offices in Santa Monica. The companies areworking together on Michael Radford's Flawless starring Demi Moore and Michael Caine and will alsore-team on a new US-set horror film that will be shot in Massachusetts.
Future's new US arm is alsoco-producing a Spanish film that will shoot in Connecticut and considering ahandful of other projects to shoot in the US.
UK-based Future has raisedmore than $6.5bn in film funding over the last seven years, working on filmsincluding Bend It Like Beckhamand current projects including Menno Meyjes' Manolete starring Adrien Brody and Penelope Cruz and AnandTucker's And When Did You Last See Your Father starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth.
Future announced earlierthis week that it had hired Qwerty veteran Andrew Hildebrand to be its UKmanaging director, to develop stronger ties with the UK production community.
For more on Future Films, see the Nov 3 issueof Screen International.