Participant Media and the Doha Film Institute (DFI) are teaming up to launch a five-year, US$100 million revolving fund to finance a slate of 12-16 feature films.
The partnership is one of a number of initiatives the two parties are uniting to undertake. In addition to the fund, Participant and DFI are exploring a joint venture to create content for Participant’s TV channel, which is launching in August; and exploring the establishment of a distribution outlet for DFI’s film production through Participant’s media interests in the U.S. and other territories.
In addition, the companies are looking at the creation of an Arabic version of takepart.com, Participant’s online division and social action network, to jointly create Middle-Eastern based content in Arabic and English for distribution around the world; and setting up a Middle East branch of Participant, to be based at DFI’s Qatar headquarters.
In a statement, Participant Media CEO Jim Berk said: “This new relationship provides us with a partner whose goals of international expansion and desire to co-finance a diverse slate of films that entertain, enlighten and engage with global audiences are in total alignment with our own long-term business strategies.
“It also gives us the ability to extend the audience for our socially-relevant storytelling to the Middle East, and to mine new sources of compelling content for our digital and TV platforms.”
DFI CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater added: “We are confident that this collaboration will be a catalyst for greater cross-cultural appreciation as we embark on a diverse and exciting set of projects.
“The partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and inspire broader audiences, and expand our platforms for the development, promotion and distribution of compelling storytelling.”
The deal was negotiated by DFI’s head of film financing Paul Miller and advisor/consultant Hal Sadoff, and by Participant Media’s chief operating officer Jeff Ivers.