Film Angels Fly A New UK Film Investment Slate
Two film industry executives have announced plans to capitalise on new taxation arrangements Chancellor Gordon Brown set out in December, to launch a fund to finance a new wave of British pictures.The two executives involved are already seeking scripts in an easy to finance genre; horror.
The Lexington Film Fund will enable a number of 'high-net-worth individuals' to invest in several films at development stage. This will involve backing scripts that may have actors or directors on board, but lack the money to find a casting director or to scout for suitable locations. 'We're going to kick-start at least seven or eight British films,' says Lexington managing director Gregory Mackenzie, who is launching the fund with his partner, Brett Walsh.
Mackenzie and Walsh founded independent production company Golconda Films and will be backed by an advisory board of industry figures. Casting director John Hubbard and producers Ed Pressman and Charles Finch are among them.
Golconda currently has two feature films in production. Camille, about a disastrous honeymoon, starring Sienna Miller and Little Green Men, a comedy thriller starring John Malkovich and Michael Gambon.
Mackenzie and Walsh hope to raise up to £3m initially. Backers will share in the upside of the developed films. Under the terms of the fund they receive a return on their investment once a film receives full financing and goes into production, even if it doesn't make it to cinemas. At that stage investors will be given the chance to put up more money.
If the film does go on general release, profit-sharing arrangements, negotiated with producers on a film-by- film basis, mean they could win a slice of lucrative box-office takings. As an added incentive, backers will enjoy limited access to sets during filming. According to Brett Walsh, 'Apart from the Film Council, this will be the biggest source of private equity funding' for British films. As an added incentive, backers will enjoy limited access to sets during filming.
Mackenzie and Walsh have already established themselves as innovators searching for fresh film talent. In january they set up a competion in conjunction with The Script Factory to find new horror scripts. Walsh was quoted in The Times last month as saying horror films as a genre were realitively easy to raise funding for because they have an active existing fan base.They were hoping to emulate the success of modest budget horrors like Neil Marshall's The Descent and 28 Days Later, the Danny Boyle zombie tale.