EXCLUSIVE: Alan Ritchson’s AllyCat Entertainment and Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist Marina Acton have teamed to to launch Phreaker Films, a film fund aimed at studios, distributors and filmmakers that will focus on both debt and equity investments. The initial investment will be $10 million to finance two to three original features a year, and actor-director-producer Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Blue Mountain State) will run it.
The first fully funded project in the pipeline is Cicada 3301, a pic set to begin production in June in Toronto that Ritchson co-wrote (with Joshua Montcalm) and will direct and produce. Based on the real secret society of the same name, it centers on a genius with a troubled past who disappears after stumbling upon their elaborate recruitment game.
Ritchson spearheaded one of the highest-grossing Kickstarter campaigns in history in 2014 to help launch Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland, which eventually sold to Lionsgate and Netflix.
“To find a partner in Marina Acton, someone who shares my desire to not only finance any stage of debt for the right project, but fully fund features that share our ethos of compelling, universal, and progressive original stories is incredibly fulfilling. By being able to equip Hollywood’s tastemakers of tomorrow, ultimately the audience wins and that’s our objective.”
Said Acton, who has been eyeing a move into Hollywood (she just purchased Kim Kardashian and
Kanye West’s Bel-Air estate): “It was time for me to expand beyond the walls of Silicon Valley. I’ve always had a passion for both the music and film and television industries. With the advancements in data and technology as it relates to film and television production, adding film investments to my portfolio makes a lot of sense right now. Finding a partner in Mr. Ritchson who has shown an aptitude for utilizing various tech platforms and methodologies to find, develop and deliver projects in the past was the final piece of the puzzle.”
Ritchson is repped by UTA, Industry Entertainment and attorney Dan Fox.