Fremantle has formed a strategic alliance with Israeli based IBI Investment House, who will launch an €150m fund to finance a portfolio of high-quality scripted television and film projects with a broad international appeal and powerful IP.
Under the initial four-year deal, Fremantle will bring a diverse range of projects from its network of production companies to the IBI fund, creating a bespoke funding model to fast-track the production of each project.
IBI Fund will work closely with Fremantle, its portfolio of labels, acclaimed producers and directors, and talent, to greenlight each project and provide the best route to market under a model that will benefit talent, networks, and audiences.
The projects will also benefit from the creative oversight of Fremantle’s Global Drama team, led by its CEO Christian Vesper, who will work collaboratively with the Fund throughout the lifecycle of each production. Similarly, all TV projects approved through the Fund will be distributed by Fremantle International.
The deal was spearheaded by Andrea Scrosati (Group COO and CEO Continental Europe, Fremantle) and Guy Hameiri (co-founder of Fremantle company Abot Hameiri). Hameiri will become Chief Executive Officer of the new Fund and oversee the selected portfolio of projects.
Three Fremantle projects across both television and film have been targeted to form the first wave of projects for the Fund:
Maria – Telling the tumultuous, beautiful, and tragic story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, Maria Callas, the film relives and re-imagines her final days in 1970s Paris. Starring Angelina Jolie in the lead role, the film is written by Steven Knight (Spencer, Peaky Blinders) and directed by Pablo Larraín (Spencer, Jackie), and will be produced by Juan de Dios Larraín for Fabula Pictures, Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures (a Fremantle company) and Jonas Dornbach for Komplizen Film.
Shelter – A six-part revenge drama created and written by Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton (Thorne, Silent Witness) with Abot Hameiri and Sarah Condon from Fair Harbor attached to produce, and Jeremy Webb (The Last of Us, The Umbrella Academy) set as director.
Generation Loss – A four-part returning mystery thriller written by Sarah Dollard (Bridgerton, Doctor Who, Cara Fi) based on the best-selling book series by Elizabeth Hand. Producers are Hilary Martin for Fremantle, Sarah Condon from Fair Harbor and Euston Films.
Jennifer Mullin, Group CEO, Fremantle said: “At Fremantle we are always focused on innovation, and this alliance with IBI is a perfect example of this ethos and approach. It is an extremely timely and exciting agreement with Dave Lubetzky (CEO of IBI Investment House) and the team at IBI. I would like to also thank Andrea, Guy and all involved at Fremantle for their vision and focus on this.”
Andrea Scrosati, Group COO and CEO Continental Europe, Fremantle said: “Securing this deal with IBI not only enables us to be extremely competitive in the marketplace, but also offers our world-class creatives and talent an ability to accelerate their projects while maintaining control in an ever-changing industry. I am thrilled that Guy, who spearheaded this innovative collaboration, will continue to be an important part of the Fremantle family while leading this incredibly exciting venture as its new CEO.”
Guy Hameiri, CEO of the new Fund and Co-Founder, Abot Hameiri said: “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. Thank you to Dave Lubetzky and all the IBI team, and to Andrea Scrosati and everyone at Fremantle, for having the vision to launch this fund and make it happen.”
Dave Lubetzky, CEO, IBI Investment House added: “We’re excited about our entry into the growing international entertainment market, in collaboration with Fremantle, one of the leading entertainment groups in the industry. This presents a unique opportunity for our investors to participate in funding international productions with top talents for the first time.”
Alongside Andrea Scrosati and Guy Hameiri, the deal was developed with the support of Seb Shorr (COO Global Drama), Bob McCourt (COO Commercial and International), Gabriella Carriere (Group Head of Strategy) and Dan Gadher (Senior Strategy Manager) for Fremantle. Dave Lubetzky (CEO), Oren Cohen (Deputy CEO, Marketing & Sales), Oren Ofek (Deputy CEO) and Lee Fischer (Head of Strategic Projects) have led the collaboration from IBI Investment House.
Legal on the deal for Fremantle was led by Kirsten Edwards (EVP, Legal and Business Affairs, Global Drama) and Fran Denny (VP, Legal and Business Affairs, Global Drama) together with David Quli and Garth McDonald from Wiggin. And by Maya Sheinkman (Legal Counsel, IBI Fund), Shlomi Delgo from S. Horowitz & Co., and Robin Hilton from Sheridans for IBI.
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