Australian talent managementcompany RGM has set up a loan guarantee facility with Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) for theproduction of international films that include a Singapore production component.

RGM relocated itsheadquarters to Singapore 18 months ago and established a media financing unitto provide gap finance for English-language film projects.

The new loan guaranteefacility will partially finance at least six films, which have a total budgetof $52m (S$80m), over the next two years. Financiers include CitigroupCorporate and Investment Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, ICB EntertainmentFinance (a division of Imperial Capital Bank) and private investors.

RGM will invest,executive produce and arrange distribution of the films worldwide as well ashold and manage the intellectual property rights for the international filmsout of Singapore.

The first two films backedby the scheme are David Auburn's The Girl In The Park, starring Kate Bosworth and SigourneyWeaver, and Chaz Thorne's Pushing UpDaisies. Singapore's Oak3 Films is co-producing The Girl In The Park, while InfiniteFrameworks is the local producer on PushingUp Daisies.

Oak3 Films is one of theco-producers of Gianni Amelio's TheMissing Star which premiered recently in Venice. Infinite Frameworks is a post-production housewhich is currently co-producing animated feature Sing To The Dawn with MediaCorp RaintreePictures.

"Local producers will beable to sharpen their skills and gain international exposure and recognition,"said RGM CEO Devesh Chetty.

Through the new initiative,RGM also aims to build up the legal infrastructure in Singapore. "The executive production of films for the globalmarket requires an infrastructure that is still at an early stage in Singapore," said Chetty.

"The LGF is intended to seedthis process by encouraging more financial institutions to participate in mediafinancing, and building a specialised entertainment legal infrastructure thatfits the expectations of the international film market."