US studio Paramount Pictures is once again set to tap into German private equity to bankroll its films.
German fund specialist Alcas has launched the MMDP Munich Movie Development & Production fund - which is expected to raise at least Euros 75m - to back two Paramount films.
Alcas has worked with Paramount several times in the past, launching funds to raise money for films such as Mission: Impossible 2, Shaft, Rules Of Engagement and The General's Daughter.
In a complex deal, Alcas has signed an option agreement with Columbus Circle Films - described by the fund as an 'indirect subsidiary' of Paramount parent company Viacom Inc - to submit at least two English language feature projects for consideration by an investors meeting on Dec 15.
David Molner of financial advisory company Screen Capital International is acting as a 'technical advisor' to the fund.
Molner worked for several years in business development at Paramount, and set up Screen Capital to facilitate transatlantic film funding and to specialise on the German market.
The films produced by Paramount on behalf of the fund will then be licensed to Global Film Distributors, an Amsterdam-based 100% subsidiary of Viacom International (Netherlands) B.V., for worldwide distribution.
In the light of August's amendments to the Media Ruling (ScreenDaily.com, August 2003), Alcas has spelt out in its fund prospectus the role of the initial investors meeting and the function of the advisory board if one is established.
According to Alcas, the three members of the advisory board "do not need to be shareholders in the fund. They must have relevant knowledge in the field of international film production and/or international film distribution (as proven by at least five years involvement in the film business) as well as being able to conduct negotiations in the German and English languages."
This board would be responsible for taking key production decisions on behalf of the fund including "fundamental changes to the budget; selection and replacement of the director; fundamental changes to the screenplay; and the final setting of the shooting schedule."