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breakingBusiness

Queen Latifah Is First Partner For Essence Fund For African-American Content

A new venture fund focused on African-American content has launched and teamed with its first partner, Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment. The Essence Creators and Makers Fund has a $20 million endowment from Essence Ventures, the parent company of Essence Communications. The fund will support and partner with creators and makers of color in an effort to mitigate the barriers faced in securing financing for the development and production of projects. The fund will… Read

breakingBusiness

SFFILM Rainin Grants For Indie Narrative Films Set, Funding Ten Teams

San Francisco Bay Area film festival promoters SFFILM, in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, has announced the development projects that will receive a total of $250,000 in funding in the latest round of SFFILM Rainin Grants. The organization has backed a prominent slate of past grant winners, including current buzz films Sorry To Bother You and Blindspotting, as well as prominent alumni films Fruitvale Station and Beasts of the Southern Wild. "Our track… Read

breakingFilm

Walden Media & Eugenio Derbez Join Live-Action ‘Dora The Explorer’ Movie

Walden Media has boarded Paramount Players’ live-action film Dora the Explorerbased on the ever-popular kids IP from Nickelodeon. The company will be both co-financing and co-producing. Eugenio Derbez (Overboard) has also joined the film, which is being directed by James Bobin. Paramount has the film set for an August 2, 2019 release. The film was written by Nick Stoller and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel and fits right into Walden’s family-friendly slate. It previously has… Read

exclusiveFilm

David And Jessica Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon Production Company Pacts With MWM Studios

David Oyelowo Jessica Oyelowo

EXCLUSIVE: David and Jessica Oyelowo and their production company Yoruba Saxon have sealed an exclusive, first-look deal with MWM Studios to develop both film and television projects. Yoruba Saxon, founded in 2014, is the company behind such films as A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight Pathe), Captive (Paramount), Nightingale (HBO) and Five Nights in Main (Filmrise). Oyelowo, of course, is the actor who won international kudos for his brilliant portrayal of Martin Luther… Read

exclusiveBusiness

He’s Baaaack! Ryan Kavanaugh Hired As Consultant By Relativity’s New Owners

Ryan Kavanaugh

UltraV Holdings, the investor group that now controls Relativity Media following a bankruptcy proceeding, has hired the company’s controversial founder and former CEO Ryan Kavanaugh as a consultant. The agreement also opens the door for him to take part in other ways in the company’s new iteration. According to a lengthy asset purchase agreement (read it here) dated May 17 but filed over the weekend in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Kavanaugh… Read

TV

Apple’s Jamie Erlicht & Zack Van Amburg Make Moves To Shake Up SVOD Scripted Space — Deadline Disruptors

Apple, which helped revolutionize the digital distribution of music with iTunes, is a relatively late entrant into the digital video-on-demand space. But its foray had been a long time in the making. "There has always been a fascination at the company with movie and TV content," says Tim Bajarin, president of marketing research consultancy Creative Strategies, who has covered Apple since 1981. "We know that Steve Jobs was very supportive of it. In 2010 when the iPad… Read

Film

Alex Walton On Adding Endeavor Content Muscle To Sales Company Bloom — Deadline Disruptors

Bloom became more than the average foreign sales company last fall when Endeavor Content acquired a majority stake from co-owners Alex Walton and Ken Kao. While agencies have held cozy relationships with different sales agents in the past, this was the first to be openly and directly connected to a holding company that also owns a major agency. It didn't take long to see the benefits for Bloom: The company teamed with Endeavor Content to make Sundance's biggest… Read

TV

Endeavor Content’s Chris Rice Out To Disrupt Production & Business Mechanics In TV — Deadline Disruptors

"We don't want to produce, that's not our goal," says Chris Rice, co-president of Endeavor Content. The content division of talent agency WME-IMG does, however, want to disrupt the mechanics behind production as well as find business where it historically does not exist. Rice oversees the company's global TV and film team with co-president Graham Taylor. It is on the small screen that Endeavor Content has been making the most recent headlines, with a number of… Read

Film

How 30West Is Fueling Indie Films & Progressive Media Businesses— Deadline Disruptors

Micah Green Dan Friedkin

Coming into its second Cannes Film Festival since Micah Green left his post as CAA Film Finance and Sales Group co-head to partner with Texas-based Dan Friedkin in 30WEST, the company has lived up to its promise as a disruptive force in the indie film space. If it was initially hard to figure out 30WEST's place in the ecosystem, the plan is now becoming clear: Simply put, the company is something of a gas station, fueling the tanks of progressive companies, film and TV… Read

Film

How AGC Studios Founder Stuart Ford Used His IM Global Exit To Build A Better Model — Deadline Disruptors

Long a charismatic wheeler-dealer on the Croisette as IM Global's principal, Stuart Ford returns to Cannes with a new company and a different mindset on how to best use the shifting landscape. Ford didn't plan to build AGC Studios until he left IM Global in an acrimonious exit last August. The dispute was with Donald Tang's Tang Media Partners, who a year earlier bought IM Global for $200 million. But now, thanks to backing from Latin America's MediaNet Partners… Read

International

Quietly And Carefully, Chinese Mega-Corporation Tencent Holdings Sets Sights On Hollywood — Deadline Disruptors

Tencent Holdings, based in Shenzhen, China, is Asia's most valuable corporation, and the world's biggest and most valuable gaming and social media company. In 2017 it reported a net income of $11.5 billion off revenues of $38 billion, and more than two-thirds of the Chinese population use its messaging services WeChat and QQ. Honor of Kings, which it owns, is the top-grossing mobile game in the world. And yet most people would be hard pressed to give you the names of… Read

International

Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Lifts Saudi Arabia’s 35-Year Theater Ban, Sets Sights On Hollywood — Deadline Disruptors

In late 2017, a seismic shift began in Saudi Arabia, an ultraconservative and once-insular Kingdom, when it was announced a 35-year ban on public movie theaters would be lifted—and it wanted the world to know it was serious about entertainment. The bold initiative was sparked by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, heir to the throne and a progressive looking to diversify the Kingdom's economy. The Crown Prince, or MBS as he's called, is known for his decisive… Read