Munich-based leasing company Hannover Leasing (HL) has launched seven separate production funds to raise over $465m (Euros540m) in finance for feature projects from 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema. HL's collaboration with New Line Cinema follows on from last year when the German fund specialist raised a total of $258m (Euros300m) for two instalments of Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Individual private German investors are being invited to invest a minimum of $21,500 (Euros25,000) each in such Fox projects as Farrelly brothers comedy Shallow Hal, featuring Jason Alexander and Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mick Jackson's comedy The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest, with Enrico Colantoni and Andy Garcia.

$4.3m (Euros5m) will be the starting sum for investors keen to profit from Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful, starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane, and Olivier Martinez; and John Pasquin's Joe Somebody, which reteams the director with Tim Allen. The pair have worked together previously on Jungle2Jungle and The Santa Clause, as well as Allen's Home Improvement TV show. Unfaithful is Lyne's first movie since 1997's Lolita, which most US distributors found too hot to handle. The film eventually took a dismal $135,000 theatrically on its US release.

HL is looking to raise $94m (Euros109m) for Shallow Hal, Euros43m for The First $20 Million', $117m (Euros136.3m) for Unfaithful and $68m (Euros78.9m) for Joe Somebody, with these amounts covering the costs for production, completion bonds, P&A expenses as well as each fund's so-called administrative 'soft costs'.

In addition, HL will arrange for the Dublin branch of the Hessen-Thuringian Landesbank (Helaba) to provide a loan for around 40% of each investor's participation. Thus, an investor's minimum participation in Unfaithful would see Euros2.9m coming from the investor and Euros2m being stumped up by Helaba.

The three new production funds for New Line have been launched to raise $151m (Euros175.8m) finance for F Gary Gray's thriller El Diablo, starring Vin Diesel and Lorenz Tate; Irwin Winkler's drama Life As A House, featuring Kristin Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline; and Jesse Nelson's I Am Sam, with Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Minimum investment ranges from $430,000 (Euros500,000) for Life As A House to $4.3m (Euros5m) for the other two projects, and part finance of the investment will again be provided by Helaba's Irish branch, as in the case of the Fox funds.

HL, whose major shareholders are Helaba and the IVG Service, has handled $3.4bn (Euros4bn) from private and institutional investors in various forms of leasing fund in its 20 years of existence.

Only two weeks ago, it was revealed that Paramount Pictures is set to access over $1bn (Euros1.19bn) film financing via a media fund entitled Motion Picture Production GmbH & Co. Erste KG (MPP), which was initiated by the HypoVereinsbank subsidiary Bayerische Immobilien-Leasing (BIL) with the Deutsche Bank (Screen Daily, June 1, 2001).