The same day former Exclusive Media Group sales title Black Mass starring Johnny Depp took the Venice Film Festival by storm, the library of the producer-financier has been majority sold to AMBI Group. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, was made in partnership with private equity firm Raven Capital Management and is the latest sign of AMBI’s increased presence on the international film development, production, finance and distribution stage; it also comes just ahead of Toronto.
As part of the deal unveiled today, AMBI, run by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, also assumes control of Exclusive Media Group projects in active development as well as sequel and remake rights to Exclusive-owned films. The library agreement involves 400 titles including Begin Again, Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, End Of Watch, Ides Of March, Hit & Run, Memento, The Mexican, Parkland, Rush, The Skulls, Sliding Doors, Snitch, Undefeated and The Way Back. The pact was made with Exclusive’s current backer Dasym Investment Strategies.
Exclusive underwent a reorganization smack in the middle of the Berlin Film Festival in February 2014 in a shake-up at the production and foreign sales company that included the ouster of heads Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. That came as the company was selling numerous films at the European Film Market there including Black Mass and the Kristen Stewart-Nicholas Hoult-starrer Equals directed by Drake Doremus, both of which are at Venice. In Cannes 2014, former Exclusive Media head of International Sales and Distribution, Alex Walton, launched Bloom which folded in several titles from the slate.
AMBI, a consortium of vertically integrated film development, production, finance and distribution companies, is looking to build a global studio. Among films on its slate are contemporary fairy tale This Beautiful Fantastic starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson; an homage to/remake of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita; and James Franco’s In Dubious Battle, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Franco, Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff and Sam Shepherd. The 3D CGI family animated film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad with the voices of John Cleese, Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Angelica Huston, Omar Sy and Heidi Klum is scheduled for release in 2018.