Underlining how far the UK's fast-growing production tax funds have moved into the mainstream, leading local financier Ingenious is to provide 35% of the budget on a slate of titles from Pathe UK.
Ingenious is initially providing a fund for three pictures, but Cameron McCracken, deputy head of Pathe UK, expects to partner with the financier on a further and larger tranche of money.
"It is equity money," said McCracken, adding that Pathe has now brought in enough outside investment to bring down its average investment though its National Lottery franchise to only 27.5% of a budget. The Ingenious deal would also help Pathe replace its lottery funding when its franchise runs out next year.
Many investors and producers are suspicious of the funds that have sprung up this year following changes to tax regulations in April's budget. Investors worry that they are taking on too much risk, while filmmakers are sceptical of claims from some funds.
But supporters say that many of the funds offer a rare way of bringing risk equity into the UK film industry. The Ingenious-Pathe deal is expected to include Girl With A Pearl Earring, Suzie Gold and another un-named project. The long-gestating Earring project is set in 17th-century Holland, with Colin Firth playing Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Another high-profile UK project in pre-prodcution with Pathe is Michael Winterbootm's sci-fi Code 46.
DNA Films, the National Lottery franchise of producers Duncan Kenworthy and Andrew Macdonald, is also looking at a tax-based financing deal as part of a joint venture with Fox Searchlight.