EXCLUSIVE: Indonesia’s MD Pictures and LA-based finance, production and distribution company Vega Baby have joined forces on a slate of 10-15 films with budgets under $5M. Over the next five years, the partners will finance and produce high-concept genre pics with MD founder Manoj Punjabi and Vega President/CEO Adam Ripp serving as exec producers.

The first title greenlit under the pact is Afraid, a horror film scripted by Paul Todisco and Oliver Robins. It centers on a teenage boy studying to be a priest, who unleashes a demonic force that threatens him and those he loves most. Ripp will direct with production beginning in February.

MD Pictures is part of Indonesian media giant MD Corp. Along with sister companies MD Entertainment and MD Animation, the group works across TV and film. MD Pictures’ film credits include some of the highest-grossing local productions ever including Ayat Ayat Cinta and Habibie & Ainun.

Punjabi says, “We have been working towards creating a footprint in Hollywood and after meeting Adam, I am absolutely certain that it’s the right fit, at the right time. We are going all out on this.”

Ripp adds, “MD Pictures is the perfect strategic partner for Vega Baby in South East Asia. Manoj is Indonesia’s most prolific and successful producer and is a true visionary. His commercial instincts are second to none.”

Additional projects on the MD Pictures/Vega Baby slate include the romantic comedy Merry Riana, based on MD’s own Indonesian hit; science fiction film 0000 (Zero) written by Eddie Alcazar; horror pic Deprived written by Brett Hedblom; political action/thriller Succession scripted by Brian Scott Miller; female-driven actioner The Dispatcher written by Heidi Van Lier; sci-fi horror film Savage Monster penned by Ripp; Black List action/thriller Dig by Adam Taylor Barker; and horror documentary Curse Of Poltergeist.

This deal does not impact the Vega Baby Film fund that is based in Singapore to finance two to three films a year with budgets up to $10M and which was unveiled in March.