Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment has secured a $20m acquisitions and co-financing fund backed by a private equity investor.

The new fund will allow Lightning to acquire commercial films for international distribution as well as provide gap financing and completion monies for films in any stage of production.

Co-founders Rich Goldberg and Richard Guardian expect to acquire 12 star-driven films a year and introduce them to international buyers.

Lightning's AFM slate include the thriller Anamorph with Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman, Vietnamese hit The Rebel, and the female drama Bonneville with Jessica Lange, Joan Allen and Kathy Bates.