Here’s some news for the independent film world. High profile Wall Street financiers Howard Silverman and Neil Grossman announced in Los Angeles today they are making a significant investment in Hollywood, creating a new diversified entertainment holding company by partnering with the current principles of Cinipix and Cosmic Toast Studios to form Toast & Jam Holdings LLC. The new entity will control subsidiary companies involved in the financing, production and distribution of feature film and TV content (live-action and animated). Grossman is the CEO of TKNG Capital, while Silverman over two decades has been chairman/CEO of Gruntal & Co., a New York based trading and investment banking organization.
Veteran showbiz execs Todd Slater and Deb Pierson have been appointed CEOs effective immediately. Slater is the former EVP at Philip Anschutz’s film company Anschutz Film Group. He cofounded Slater Brothers Entertainment (SBE), an entertainment and consulting company that is focused on producing major sporting, art and film events, as well as the financing of various media, film, and sports properties. Pierson is the former VP of Sales and Marketing at Kabillion and its digital kids’ entertainment network which regularly attracts more than 6 million viewers per month.
Cosmic Toast Studios is the 5-year-old full-service animation company, while Cinipix is the film finance, acquisitions, production and distribution shingle. Also included is the rental production company Cinirents. More from today’s announcement:
The infusion of capital from Silverman and Grossman will be used to grow the development, production, and distribution operations and enable Cinipix and Cosmic Toast Studios to build out its infrastructure. The two sister companies will continue their strategy of committing capital and resources to top filmmakers to enable them to produce commercial films that are competitive in the global market. The major financial investment made by Silverman and Grossman will also enhance the company’s ability to identify strategic acquisition opportunities, including those in the digital distribution space.
Under the stewardship of Slater, Cinipix will produce and fund multiple films per year as well as acquire and partner with third party producers offering post production, equity, and sales partnerships. Current Cinipix projects include the recently finished thriller/action films Raze (Rachel Nichols, Zoe Bell), the upcoming action film The Devil’s Ink as well as the action pic McCanick, true-life story It’s Dark Here and comedy Gangbusters. The company will also act as the distribution/sales arm for CTS content. One of Burbank-based Cosmic Toast Studios (“CTS”) properties, the Telly award winning “Hey Wordy!” currently airing on a PBS affiliate and on an overseas network reaching 175 countries.
In a joint statement Slater and Pierson said, “We have been good friends for a long time and are thrilled to take on this exciting new endeavor together. With the financial recourses of Neil and Howard, we have the ability to expand into of the most multifaceted studios and production companies in Hollywood. The partners at Toast & Jam offer us an incredible opportunity to work creatively and collaboratively to build something very special.”
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