Financed partly through sunken treasure, the upstart Vancouver-based Greenstone Film Partners — named for the Queen Isabella Emerald — is launching its feature film production, distribution and international sales venture at TIFF, its CEO John Curtis told Screen.

“The initial capitalization of US$25 million is a drop in the bucket in this business,” Curtis concedes, noting that he and Evan Tylor (president worldwide distribution) are looking both to acquire and co-finance “commercial” international pictures at TIFF.

Greenstone Film Partners is a joint venture between IndustryWorks Pictures (IWP) and Reed One Entertainment, the latter of which was formed by Iconic Ventures, Liquid Films the and Entertainment Capital Media Group to develop feature films. Reed One, by virtue of its relationship with Iconic Ventures, is backing the collateral to capitalize Greenstone. 

“Reed One Entertainment is the collateral owner and IndustryWorks is the lender and you put the two together and it works as Greenstone Film Partners,” Curtis says of the new joint venture, which literally has sunken treasure behind it.

Iconic Ventures chairman Dr. Victor Benilous, “has committed significant collateral in the form of gemstones to collateralize this venture,” Curtis explained. 

Benilous is an ex-pat Canadian (living in Florida) whose team is credited with the rediscovery of the infamous “Isabella Emerald” in 1992.

Reed One has also agreed to pledge addition collateral, as required, to extend the company’s initial capital resources with another $25-40m, says Curtis.Greenstone plans to co-produce about eight features a year.

Greenstone will concentrate on providing bridge, gap and production funds for feature films in a wide range of budgets both for the theatrical and international DVD and television markets. 

In a deal that sees Reed One provide collateral for the new venture, a revolving line of credit has been established to facilitate the company’s activities. Evan Tylor has been named President, Worldwide Distribution, Dr. Joseph A. Fiorentino becomes President of Development, Charley Cabrera is Senior VP Production, Ruben Arizpe becomes the CFO, Dr. Branon A. Edwards and Oscar A. Diaz are also principals of the new JV.

Curtis has been in the business for some 25 years and has financed, produced and or distributed more than 60 feature films.