EXCLUSIVE: Former PalmStar Media execs Ankur Rungta and Vishal Rungta have launched production banner Nickel City Pictures, with a focus on development and production of film and television across all genres.
The company, which is based in Los Angeles and New York, has forged a development partnership with major German licensing and distribution group Telepool, which will give Nickel City access to significant capital to fund development of future projects for the banner. The pairing will also enable Nickel City to tap into Telepool’s European distribution platform across German-speaking regions as well as strategic insight on foreign markets. It’s a smart move for the company as Germany increasingly has become a crucial territory when it comes to indie financing. The companies have said they already have closed an initial slate of four projects, which are expected to be announced in the next month or so.
“The launch of Nickel City Pictures has been made all the more exciting because of our partnership with Telepool, one of Europe’s leading content distributors and a strong strategic partner for our new company,” Ankur and Vishal Rungta said. “The Telepool team is extremely knowledgeable, with excellent creative and commercial taste – all of which will be an invaluable asset as we build our slate.”
Said Telepool CEO Thomas Weymar: “Nickel City Pictures is an ideal partner for Telepool as we continue to collaborate on a global stage with like-minded, visionary companies. Both Ankur and Vishal display an ambitious drive and commercial sensibility, while boasting rich relationships across the industry. Their business backgrounds and wider expertise in the entertainment space leaves us with no doubt that we will have a huge amount to show from our collaboration.”
The deal was negotiated by Weymar, Telepool Head of Acquisitions and Sales Thomas Sierk and VP Acquisitions and Development Tobias Weymar. Sierk and Weymar will run point on the relationship from the Telepool side.
Ankur and Vishal were partners and execs at indie film finance company PalmStar Media before they left to focus full-time on development and production in their new banner. Their credits include upcoming New Line Cinema title Collateral Beauty, starring Will Smith; Netflix’s True Memoirs of an International Assassin, starring Kevin James and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter Two with Keanu Reeves. Other credits include The November Man, Laggies and Mother’s Day.