EXCLUSIVE: London-based financier Head Gear Films, which recently backed John Michael McDonagh’s upcoming The Forgiven and Halle Berry’s Bruised, is setting up a $25M credit facility to fund productions shooting in Serbia.
The facility will be operated in partnership with Belgrade-based production outfit Balkanic Media, which has been founded by Ironclad filmmaker Jonathan English with Los Angeles-based producer James Gibb.
The fund will cashflow the government rebate in Serbia, which stands at 25% for qualifying film and TV productions (rising to 30% for qualified Serbian spend on features with a budget of €5M+ ($5.4M)), as well as offering debt and gap financing for Balkanic’s service productions and its own original content.
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Head Gear, which was founded by Phil Hunt and Compton Ross, said the fund would focus on TV series but would also be available for single picture financing.
“I’ve always been keen on expanding into other areas and this partnership with Balkanic will build on our growing television slate as well as continuing to lay foundations in other territories. Other than its home territory in the UK, Head Gear has a secure foothold in Australia and Los Angeles, with offices in both countries,” said Hunt. “I’ve known Balkanic partners Jonathan and James since the mid 90s so this is a perfect fit for a new venture in Serbia.”
“Serbia offers producers incredible value for money, we are thrilled to partner with Phil and Head Gear Films, this deal enables Balkanic to provide third party producers, studios and TV networks a suite of financing options which includes funding the state rebate,” added Gibb.
“Serbia has positioned itself not just as a shooting location but as a reliable production partner. The government rebate combined with low production costs, world class studios at PFI and highly experienced crew, makes Serbia the unbeatable deal in Europe,” added English.
Balkanic is currently shooting the third season of series The Outpost at PFI Studios in Belgrade for Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment and Arrowstorm Entertainment. The company has also produced episodes of Seal Team for CBS and indie films The Deal and A.I. Rising.
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