Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel's production and financing houseInferno Distribution has received $42m to finance three projects in 2005 fromGerman film fund, Academy.

The first of the projects is Southland Tales, Richard Kelly's follow-up to DonnieDarko that centres on aheatwave that culminates in a huge July 4 party in the Los Angeles area. SeannWilliam Scott and Sarah Michelle Gellar star. Darko Entertainment, Cherry RoadFilms and Persistent Entertainment are producing with Inferno.

Peaceful Warrior is based on Dan Millman's bestselling self-help novel Way OfThe Peaceful Warriorwith Victor Salva attached to direct. Inferno will produce with Sobini Filmsand DEJ Productions.

License To Steal is based on the story of Walter Shaw Jr, the frustrated son of aninventor who becomes a jewel thief with connections to the mafia.

"We noticed from the start that Inferno was putting an emphasis onmaterial and that attracted us to working with them," Academy managing directorOliver Hengst said.

"Bill and Jim have rapidly established themselves as substantialand reputable producers in addition to their growing foreign sales arm, and weare happy to have a partner like Inferno to bring strong projects to ourentrepreneurs."

"Jim and I are focused on delivering high quality, US theatricallyreleased films to our international partners," Inferno's Johnson added.

"We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with themanagement and entrepreneurs of Academy as well as their banking partner ABNAMRO. We appreciate the support they've given us this year and look forward toworking together on our current and future slate of films."

Inferno is currently in production on Just Friends starring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart AnnaFaris and Chris Klein. Roger Kumble is directing and New Line will handledomestic distribution.

The other Academy managing directors are Wolfgang Schamburg,Thomas Bone-Winkel and Ernst-August Schnieder.