Participant Media acquires equity stake in Cineflix Media

On the heels of unveiling its plans for a TV division, Participant is partnering with the Canadian-headquartered, international producer-distributor to develop and produce original programming.
April 24, 2012

On the heels of unveiling its plans for a TV division, Participant Media has made an equity investment in Canadian headquartered, international producer-distributor Cineflix Media.

Cineflix and Participant will partner to conceive, develop and produce original television programming following Participant’s model of “commercial and socially relevant entertainment,” according to a statement released today by both parties.

“Cineflix has grown over the past decade from an independent production start-up to an international media corporation, and our investment in this innovative company provides Participant with the talent and creative resources to expand our business into television,” said Participant Media CEO Jim Berk.

“[Cineflix Media] co-CEOs Glen [Salzman] and Katherine [Buck] share our interest in developing content which inspires and, with Participant’s investment and long-term commitment, Cineflix is poised to continue its rapid growth.”

Meanwhile, Cineflix’s Salzman called the minority stake acquisition “a fantastic opportunity for Cineflix not only as a business but as a creative organization.”

“We’ve been approached by a number of companies over the years, and we wanted to find the right fit for us,” Salzman told realscreen. “With Participant, we really admired their films over the years and their mandate – to produce content that’s inspiring and entertains.”

Salzman added that the deal will “allow Cineflix to grow and expand, and with a great partner, which [is] a strategic fit and not just a financial one… It suited us as a company both financially and culturally.”

The Cineflix Media co-CEO said that the aim is to produce both scripted and non-scripted programming with Participant under the partnership, and that, given Cineflix’s infrastructure in North America, decisions to shoot in Canada or the U.S. will be made on a project-by-project basis.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Participant recently announced that Evan Shapiro, most recently president of IFC and Sundance Channel, would be taking the role of president for Participant Television, reporting directly to Berk. The company, known for socially conscious documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth and Food Inc., is also behind the recent Oscar-winning narrative feature The Help.

Cineflix Media, producer of more than 400 hours of content including such series as American Pickers and Property Brothers, is about to unveil Copper, the debut scripted project from its Cineflix Studios arm, premiering on BBC America and Showcase in Canada this summer.


About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.