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Guernsey Welcomes First Film Finance Fund

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A new film fund launched by a local investment manager is believed to be the first investment fund established in Guernsey to specifically invest in film production, marketing and distribution.

Confiance Fund Services Limited has worked closely with UK-based investment adviser High Fliers Film plc, and local law firm AO Hall as legal adviser, to launch Confiance Film Products PCC Limited, which will invest in both big budget and small budget movies.

“Financing films is always a delicate balance between the various parties involved in making the film and bringing it successfully to its target audience. You need to work with people who understand the film industry and have the relevant experience,” said Richard Garrod, Director of Confiance Fund Services Limited.

High Fliers plc has over 20 years' experience in the film distribution market in the UK, and a catalogue of films starring Richard Gere, Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, Carey Mulligan, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Pierce Brosnan, Robert Carlyle, Claire Danes and Tommy Lee Jones.

Ian Hunt, Managing Director of Confiance Fund Services Limited, said High Fliers’ experience had been combined with Confiance’s expertise to create a completely unique investment fund at a time when the large film studios are struggling to find film financing.

“Confiance Film Products PCC Limited was developed to fit in with the needs of the film market. It also enables those investors looking for a different asset class with identifiable returns to invest into. The concept was to utilize the experience both at Confiance and in Guernsey in general to enable a broader business development approach to encompass distribution, production, branding and finance within the film arena,” Garrod said.

The first fund of Confiance aims to invest in a mix of films with different genres and budgets, preferably with an A-list director and an A-list lead actor or actress, to acquire the distribution rights to those films and then distribute those films through cinema, DVD, video-on-demand, TV and other auxiliary formats such as the internet and airline entertainment systems.

Future funds will also invest in film production and marketing which will give investors the ability to invest in a full range of film financing opportunities in Guernsey. It is proposed that future cells may also list on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange with Newhaven Trust Company (Channel Islands) Limited acting as the listing sponsor.

AO Hall’s group partner Sam Shires and associate Stephen Ozanne both worked closely with Confiance and High Fliers Film.

“It’s always good to see Guernsey’s fund expertise being used for new asset classes, and at the same time promote the continued flexibility and popularity of the Guernsey protected cell company product,” said Shires.

“It has been very exciting to work closely with Confiance on this project and also in bringing together some of the best minds in the film industry to create an excellent new investment opportunity in Guernsey.”

Hunt and Garrod are both directors of the fund and members of Guernsey Film LBG, a Guernsey business group that aims to promote the wide range of film financing expertise in Guernsey.

The launch of the fund coincided with Guernsey Film’s inaugural seminar in London, which was held on September 30, 2010.