Beverly Hills-based BiFrost Pictures launches as a specialty financing and production company that aims to invest at “various levels” in four to six films a year budgeted up to $20m.

Wagner, who recently served as president of production at Paradox Entertainment and prior to that worked for Sweden’s Tre Vänner AB and produced several films for Sonet film AB, has closed deals on his inaugural slate and expects to announce more in the coming weeks.

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman reunite with their Lovelace star Amanda Seyfried on The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League, about con artist Esther Reed who was pursued by the authorities after she created a fake ID and talked her way into Columbia University.

The project is based on the Rolling Stone article of the same name by Sabrina Rubin Erdley. Wagner will produce alongside Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG and Mary Viola, Taggart Productions’ Michael Nardelli and Envision Entertainment’s Grant Cramer. 

Cold In July is based on a script by Jim Mickle from the novel by Joe R Landsdale about a revenge plot in Texas. Wagner will produce with Rene Bastain, Adam Folk and Linda Moran of Belladonna Productions.

David Burris will direct The World Made Straight starring Minka Kelly, Haley Joel Osment and Noah Wyle from a screenplay he co-wrote with Shane Danielsen. Wagner produces alongside Burris, Michael Wrenn and Tim Orr.

The Appalachian-set tale centres on a young man trying to escape a violent legacy. Shooting is underway in North Carolina and Myriad Pictures handles international sales.

Wagner served as executive producer on Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, which will screen in Critics’ Week in Cannes and premiered at Sundance in January.

His other executive producer credits include Broken City for Fox starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe and the upcoming Lionsgate release Reasonable Doubt staring Samuel Jackson and Dominic Cooper.

“With the inception of BiFrost, we wanted to build a company that not only nurtures talent and fosters the creative vision, but creates content that inspires as well as entertains,” said Wagner. “We will remain grounded with our project choices, yet will always be open to explore the dynamic new media landscape that is forming in the marketplace.”