UK’s Curzon, Australia’s Madman, Benelux’s Cineart Partner To Launch $1.6M Film Development Fund

Philip Knatchbull Curzon

EXCLUSIVE: A trio of leading indie film distributors are pooling resources to launch a $1.6M (£1.2M) film development fund.

UK outfit Curzon, which is currently handling Parasite in the territory, Australian company Madman Entertainment and Benelux releaser Cineart will each have a first look option for local distribution rights to each project financed through the fund.

Run out of Curzon’s London office, Beast producer Kristian Brodie has been brought onboard to head up the development pot.

The fund will look to back a slate of sixteen projects, starting with an initial three-year investment cycle. Once that concludes, the partners will have the option to roll into a second five-year plan, or exit to be replaced by another partner.

The companies will look to coordinate release plans for backed titles (if they take up the option for rights in their respective territories). Funds are coming directly from founding partners, as well as potential additional third party financiers.

The trio already have a strong existing relationship, with regular overlapping titles on their distribution slates. All three outfits are currently working on the theatrical roll-out for Celine Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, for example.

Curzon had a hit this weekend with global success story Parasite, with its UK release clocking a record-breaking $1.8m opening. Madman also released the film in Australia, where it took $1.9m last summer.

Curzon, which also operates a chain of cinemas, was bought by U.S. company Cohen Media Group at the end of last year.

“We strongly believe there is a gap in the market for a fund which can seamlessly connect projects right through from development to distribution,” said Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull. “Co-ordinating release strategies globally will become an increasing priority for the success of independent film and this fund is a key step towards us achieving that. “

“We are convinced there is room to develop and nurture beautiful films.This fund will allow us to provide development, financing and international distribution, and therefore undoubtedly become a home to great filmmakers,” added Marc Smit, Cinéart co-CEO.

“We share the same ethos as our partners at Curzon and Cinéart, working to support quality independent cinema from development to exhibition. This exciting new venture will allow us to cultivate existing talent and nurture new extraordinary filmmakers,” said Paul Wiegard, Madman Entertainment founder and MD.

“This fund feels unique in its ability to guide a project from inception right through to distribution. I’m looking forward to working closely with our partners and meeting with producers and filmmakers in the coming months as we build our initial slate of projects,” said Kristian Brodie.

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