Who are the leading players at the UK film funds and what are they backing?
Key names: Commercial director Duncan Reid; COO James Clayton.
Profile: Mainly raises money from private corporations for investment in US studio films. Less often it works with-high-net worth individuals for one-off films. Looks for experienced producers with a first-class international sales company, some pre-sales and some creative elements in place.
Credits: Wolverine, Bronson, Never Let Me Go, Swinging With The Finkels.
What producers say: “They are top of the list. They are so well organised. If you are going into battle, that’s what you want — somebody heavyweight on your side.”
Key names: Partner Nigel Thomas.
Profile: Has successfully raised $15m (£10m) over the past 18 months through its five EIS companies, Cinema One, Cinema Two, Cinema Three, Cinema Four and Cinema Five. Through these funds, Matador provides up to a third of the budget for British qualifying films.
Credits: Jonathan Lynn’s Wild -Target, Anthony DiBlasi’s Dread, Sallie Aprahamian’s Broken Lines.
What producers say: “There are some smaller operators like
Matador who are in all likelihood better placed than the big funds with the larger overheads.”
Key names: co-chairs Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman.
Profile: Part of the Scion group which also includes structured finance, asset management and production and legal services. Finance is from group resources, but some opportunities to participate in projects through Scion Financial Partners.
Credits: In Bruges, Inconceivable.
Goldcrest Film Finance
Key names: Partner Adam Kulick.
Profile: In the last three years, Goldcrest has provided funding to 18 projects ranging in budget from $2m to $100m.
Its new structure is Goldcrest Film Production LLP, which looks to support UK films in the $4.5m- $10.5m bracket.
Credits: Tropic Thunder, Twilight.
Aramid Entertainment Fund
Key names: Tim Levy, founder and owner of Future Capital Partners, and a director of Aramid.
Profile: Incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Offers bridge financing and gap financing and to discount the UK tax credit.
Credits: Triage, In The Loop, Franklyn, Sounds Like Teen Spirit, Good.
Key names: COO Adam Betteridge.
Profile: Finance and production company specialising in film business opportunities for high-net-worth individuals. Its Sovereign sole traders fund offers the opportunity to trade film rights for profit. Looks for films in the $5m-$30m range, not just UK ones — focus is on “commerciality”. Will give priority to projects with at least 75% of finance secured. Producers are expected to supply due diligence documents, including chain of title, sales figures, talent commitment, finance plan and proof of other financing.
Credits: Perrier’s Bounty, Welcome To the Rileys.
Key names: Chief executive Stephen Margolis.
Profile: Funds include 76 Media Finance (provides finance to UK films), Double M and M2 Production Funds (public film investment funds), Grove Media Finance. Also creating a strategic company for European film finance.
Credits: Flawless, Fifty Dead Men Walking, Manolete, Planet 51.
Key names: Limelight VCT founder Michael Henry; head of the film department Ivan Mactaggart.
Profile: Since September 2007 BMS and Limelight VCT have together financed 15 films. Now BMS is to operate its own fund, looking to finance commercial UK and international films with budgets in the $3m-$15m range, providing gap, pre-sale and tax-credit financing up to 50% of budget. Michael Henry intends to continue offering UK tax credit funding under the Limelight brand to lower-budget UK films.
Credits: Adulthood, Moon and Perrier’s Bounty.
Key names: Founder Keith Evans.
Profile: Has reinvented itself as a mini-studio, involved in financing, production, distribution and sales. It has raised funding through EIS. Now aims to fully finance low-budget films.
Credits: Dave McKean’s Luna and animated feature Kitchen Stories, through EIS companies.
Key names: Co-founders Paul Brett and Tim Smith.
Profile: Latest fund is Aegis Film Fund, a partnership between Prescience Film Fund, Chancery (UK) LLP and financial execs Chris Smith and Colin Brumpton. Has up to $50m committed for this year and will invest in projects in $8m-$25m range.
Credits: Mat Whitecross’ upcoming Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.