Filmmaker Fund Plans For Rapid Growth

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Finance


Aiming For £100M Asset Pot

film investmentA film finance fund is expecting pace of business in the film industry to accelerate as filmmakers recover from the loss of UK tax breaks two years ago. Pacific Continental Film Opportunities Fund, launched in 2005, is to embark on a marketing campaign in 2007 and could eventually hold up to 100 million pounds in assets.


The fund's clients are not just British. The fund has put up gap finance for the Australian drama Candy and a contemporary Australian production of Macbeth, according to fund manager Peter Phelan.

"We can bring something to the market and support the British film industry," Phelan said. "Gap finance, covering film cost from production to the screen,  has been traditionally handled by banks and other financial sources rather than funds."  

The fund's marketing push comes as Britain's film industry recovers from a loss in 2004 of a tax-relief loophole, Phelan said. "The industry was hit after the Inland Revenue closed tax relief to investors," he explained, "although a number of projects that have been shelved are starting to re-emerge."

A BBC report in 2004 said over 1 billion pounds was invested in films in 2003, partly as a result of tax breaks.

The portfolio aims to deliver a fixed return from debt finance which is not dependent on the underlying success of the film.

Since its February 2005 launch, the fund has delivered total returns of 21.23 percent. The portfolio is part of Pacific Continental Securities (UK) Ltd, the British investment firm.

In choosing films in which to invest, Phelan said he ignored film scripts and looked at budgets and sales forecasts. But the fund will avoid very controversial film areas such as pornography.