EXCLUSIVE: The Zurich-based film financier also eyeing Guilermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio and Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs project.
Silver Reel Partners, the Zurich-based film financier formed by private equity and wealth management specialist Claudia Bluemhuber, Ian Hutchinson (ex-Bank Of Ireland) and Florian Dargel, in 2009, is ramping up.
This week in Cannes, Silver Reel has revealed it is in advanced talks to finance three very high profile films: Grace Of Monaco, to star Nicole Kidman and be directed by Olivier Dahan; Pinocchio, a 3-D stop motion animation project to be directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson; and Jobs, the biopic of Apple founder Steve Jobs set to star Ashton Kutcher and to be directed by Joshua Michael Stern.
Silver Reel will be working on the films together with international sales outfit Inferno. (The two outfits are already collaborating on The Host, the Andrew Niccol directed Stephenie Meyer adaptation starring Saoirse Ronan and Diane Kruger that Silver Reel co-financed.)
On its bigger projects (in the $20 to $ 50 million range), Silver Reel is likely to provide up to 50% of the budgets. The company also has the ability to fully finance films. It is one of the backers of Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and currently shooting. Bluemhuber and Hutchinson are executive producers. Lionsgate is handling sales.
Two Silver Reel backed projects, Walter Hill’s Bullet To The Head and Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin are in post-production.
Meanwhile, another Silver Reel project Getaway, produced by Joel Silver (Dark Castle) and Courtney Solomon (After Dark), is currently shooting in Bulgaria. Solomon is also directing the car race action movie, starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. Silver Reel is co-financing with After Dark. IM Global is handling sales on selected territories on the film, distributed by Warner Bros.
“We’ve four to six productions that we’re active on…we may gear up and do more in the future,” Bluemhuber [pictured] told Screen.
Silver Reel works closely with a number of sales agents, among them Film Nation Inferno, IM Global and Lionsgate-Summit. On selected projects it finances (for example, Under The Skin, on which it took Germany) Silver Reel will also buy territory rights.
“What we like to do - and what producers like - is that we are a one-stop shop. We can actually do everything - we can do lending on the tax credit and pre-sales (but we’re also happy to work together with the banks who are out there on this segment of the financing) and we can do some equity,” Bluemhuber said of Silver Reel’s strategy.
Silver Reel’s investors, Bluemhuber added, were “very wealthy, European-based family offices. We have an absolute return strategy. We haven’t looked to do anything on the tax side. There are a lot of players out there who do that.”