Japanese production outfit Omega Pictures is teaming up with three Latin American media companies to launch an on-line film sales outfit, based in Puerto Rico, where they have been lured by significant tax and funding initiatives.
Omega will take a 40% stake in the joint venture, entitled Intermedia Contenido, with the three partners - content producers Clarkson Integrative Group and Media Wire Communication and distribution outfit United Film - taking 20% each.
The venture, capitalised at $1.85m (Y200m), will receive just under $1m (Y100m) from the Puerto Rican government which has been actively courting the entertainment industry with various incentives. These include a zero tax rate for sales of content rights, which are taxed at 10% in the US and Japan. Also, Puerto Rico's corporate tax rate is a low 2%, compared to 7% in the US.
The partners have set a December launch for their "E-Cinema Market" web-site which will handle sales of rights to both Japanese and international product. The site will include descriptions of rights on offer, along with sales conditions, and field enquires from potential buyers.
In its first year, the venture expects to market 800 titles, increasing to 3,000 by its third year of business. Much of the content, including animation and live-action films, will initially be sourced in Japan and Asia, through Omega and its Asian partners, but some will also come from Intermedia Contenido's three other corporate owners.
Omega is best known for producing the Ring horror series, which became a cult sensation in Japan and much of the rest of Asia.