Aquarius Film is goingglobal. The London-based financing and production outfit is setting up AquariusWorld Wide, a new venture with partners from Australia, South Africa, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Germany and India.

Aquarius chief executiveTerence Potter won't disclose who the new partners are, but says that dealshave already been concluded in seven territories. Once an eighth and finalterritory is confirmed, Aquarius will make a full announcement as to who isinvolved.

"Every company has anestablished track record of financing and making films in their territory,"Potter said. "They all jumped at the opportunity to become part of a biggerorganisation."

The idea is for the partnersbehind Aquarius World Wide to pool resources to make English-language films inthe $5-$20m budget range.

"In Australia, the UK, SouthAfrica and Belgium, we will be looking to have our own private fundraising...incountries like Austria, we're tied to people who have private equity and access to governmentmoney," Potter explained.

'We were delighted tobe invited to become part of the Aquarius organisation. It will enable us toreally raise the level of the films that we produce," commented StuartScowcroft of Aquarius Australia.

Over the last four years,Aquarius has raised in excess of $120m for film production in the UK. The most recent film Aquarius has financed isFrancesca Archibugi's $10 million Flying Lessons. The UK/India/Italyco-production, sold by TF1, recently finished shooting.

"We have a very loyal investorbase. If anything, demand from investors outstrips the available investmentcapacity in the UK," Potter said.

Aquarius' decision to set upa global network comes at a time of uncertainty in UK film financing following the end of Section 48 taxrelief and sale and leaseback. "The UK has been downgraded from the country that everyonewants to work with...the UK has to stand on its own merits and will face severecompetition from a number of other countries," Potter stated.

Nonetheless, Aquarius willremain involved in UK production. The company will look to cash flow thenew UK film tax credits for films on which it is involved.