Global production and distribution powerhouse Fremantle has revealed a strategic alliance at the Venice Film Festival with Israeli-based IBI Investment House, which involves the launch of a 150 million euro ($163 million) fund to bankroll a portfolio of premium scripted TV and film projects.
Under the deal, which will last four years, Fremantle will bring a diverse range of projects from its network of studio companies to the IBI fund, fast-tracking the production of each title. The partners say the projects will also benefit from the creative oversight of Fremantle’s global drama team, led by its CEO Christian Vesper, who will work with the fund throughout the lifecycle of each production. All TV projects approved through the fund will be distributed by Fremantle International.
“At Fremantle, we are always focused on innovation and this alliance with IBI is a perfect example of this ethos and approach,” said Fremantle Group CEO Jennifer Mullin. “It is an extremely timely and exciting agreement with Dave Lubetzky (CEO of IBI Investment House) and the team at IBI.”
The deal was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati (Fremantle’s group COO and CEO for continental Europe) and Guy Hameiri (co-founder of Fremantle company Abot Hameiri). Hameiri will become CEO of the new fund and will oversee the selected portfolio of projects.
Added Hameiri: “I am so excited by this new venture and am delighted to be heading up the Fund to work even closer with our amazing talent and producers to finance new projects. This is an exciting opportunity for the market and for our industry.”
Three Fremantle projects have been targeted to form the fund’s first wave of projects. They are Pablo Larrain’s Maria, starring Angelina Jolie as the world’s greatest opera singer, Maria Callas; Shelter, a six-part revenge drama created by Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton (Thorne, Silent Witness) and directed by Jeremy Webb (The Last of Us, The Umbrella Academy); and Generation Loss, a four-part returning mystery thriller written by Sarah Dollard (Bridgerton, Doctor Who, Cara Fi) and based on the best-selling book series by Elizabeth Hand.
Said Lubetzky: “This presents a unique opportunity for our investors to participate in funding international productions with top talents for the first time.”
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