EXCLUSIVE: Oasis Ventures Entertainment has acquired a stake in Emmett/Furla Films, which has become a prolific source of financing for star-driven studio-released dramas. Oasis Ventures Entertainment already was a source of financing for an Emmett/Furla Film slate that includes the company’s biggest investment to date, the upcoming Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns. The new alignment was made by EFF principals Randall Emmett and George Furla, and Oasis Ventures Entertainment chairman Marwan Al Bawardi. They would not reveal the size of the Oasis ownership, but said it is significant enough that EFF is being re-branded Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. The new partners said they will have a new fund, projected at $150 million and generating from the Middle East, to use to coin more studio-based film productions.
Emmett said the company continues with its other pool of financiers that has enabled EFF to back so many films. Emmett/Furla/Oasis will also open an outpost in Dubai, which is the home base of Oasis Ventures.
Said Oasis Ventures COO Daniel Pfeffer: “We have worked with EFF for the last year and half and are thrilled with the quality of films they produce & finance. We are committed to supporting the growth and infrastructure of EFOF. Our investment will allow EFOF to compete internationally and strengthen their studio relationships as well as co-financing partnerships.”
EFF has been around 15 years, and its recent rise coincided a need by studios for outside help to finance moderate to high budget star-driven dramas for their slates, as those studios save their own money to bet higher and higher sums on the budgets of tent poles. EFF and Oasis said that the injection of new investment capital will increase the volume and budgets of the films they produce and co-finance or fully finance. EFF currently has 2 Guns opening August 2, followed by the Lionsgate releases The Frozen Ground with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack and Escape Plan with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the latter of which premiered at Comic-Con over the weekend.
Behind that is the Peter Berg-directed Navy SEAL thriller Lone Survivor with Wahlberg and Universal. There is also a new batch of features in the works right behind those that include the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence, a partnership with Universal in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed Everest to star Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jason Clarke, and The Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel for Summit Entertainment. The company makes its first foray into the TV series game, partnered with Greg Bonnan’s Tower 18 in Rescue 3, which has a 20-episode commitment from Tribune. It is in pre-production in South Africa. Emmett also has the offshoot shingle Cheetah Vision with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and that is exec producing the Starz series Power with Mark Canton. They’ve also set an animated series at Fox in partnership with Imagine Entertainment.
Said Emmett: “We are excited about working with Oasis and really see tremendous synergy. We will continue financing our bigger budget studio co productions and will be more aggressive than ever in our financing commitments.”
WME’s Ari Emanuel and Graham Taylor rep EFF and put together the infusion of Oasis Ventures Entertainment, which is a subsidiary of Regents Group, LLC, an investment management that has offices in NY, London and Dubai.
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