IndieVest Pioneers Connecting Film and Capital

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Independent film boom in Hollywood opens new doors.

In Hollywood these days, everything is turning up independent. As film directors and producers continue to migrate away from the major studios, companies like IndieVest are positioning themselves to meet the growing groundswell of interest in independent film production.

As major studios become increasingly consumed with the film production of global, high-impact blockbusters, they give less attention to smaller films without big-budget, cross-cultural appeal. "Since the studios have to feed their huge worldwide distribution apparatus," observes Hal Sadoff, head of ICM's new international and independent film division, "they have to look for films with outside financing to fill those smaller production-value slots."

What's the result? High-net-worth individuals are getting interested in independent film financing and independent film production like never before, and globalization is driving part of the demand for high-quality independent films. As domestic and foreign movie markets open up to independent film distribution, David Hutkin, deputy managing director at ICB Entertainment Finance notes "a flight to quality," in foreign markets, and a movement away from big-budget films that often sacrifice depth in favor of global appeal.

IndieVest offers the passionate independent film enthusiast an opportunity to join a unique membership community in the center of a growing independent film boom. IndieVest attracts high-net-worth investors who are looking for a managed-risk approach to investing in films. IndieVest gives members exclusive first-look access to films under development at IndieVest Pictures. These films are professionally vetted and developed with top-tier talent attached and guaranteed theatrical distribution in up to 1500 theaters. The IndieVest team and its network of industry professionals have been tied to successful Oscar-winning and nominated films such as Hotel Rwanda, Crash, and Water.

The volume of people looking for a way into the world of independent film is at unprecedented levels. "I think they see that independent films have a better chance of doing well, be it Oscar nominations or box office. It's much healthier than it used to be," Hutkin says.

Producer Michael London, whose Groundswell Productions has raised over $50 million with an eye to producing films with budgets under $20 million, is riding the wave. "There has been interest in the past, but it feels we have now hit a tipping point where real money is flowing into the business," London says.

The promise of strong, sometimes astronomical returns generated by independent films, are driving the increased interest in financing independent film production. As the producer of the indie hit Sideways, London's own film is a prime example, given that it was shot on a relatively modest production budget of $16 million yet has generated over $109,336,065 in box office receipts to date. But an independent film need not win an Academy Award in order to deliver strong ROI. In fact, historical data shows that feature films with $5- to $10-million in production costs consistently generate the highest average percentage returns in the industry.

As the economics of the movie business change, it's only a matter of time before the identity and perception of the typical producer evolves along with it. In other words, when you're at a cocktail party, don't be surprised to hear that your neighbor has forsaken his hedge fund for an investment in the next indie hit … or even a string of indie hits.

IndieVest, Inc. is the parent company to IndieVest Pictures and IndieVest Securities. Founded in 2004, IndieVest is an independent film studio and financier with a member community of high-net-worth individuals who work together to produce top-tier independent films with guaranteed theatrical distribution.

For more information about IndieVest, please contact Marco Larsen at 646.812.4444.

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Marco Larsen
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