Launched early March, the company headed by former SF Studios Denmark’s CEO Michael Fleischer plans to release 8-10 local films per year in the Nordics.
Scandinavian Film Funds Distribution is the subsidiary of the private financing entity Scandinavian Film Funds, founded last year by former Metronome Film & TV executive and Fund CEO Christian Bévort, veteran producer Kim Magnusson-Head of Creative, and distributor Sune Lind Thomsen. The latter left the financing group earlier this year and was replaced by his former superior at SF Studios Denmark Michael Fleischer.
Sitting on the group’s investment committee are Rasmus Ramstadt, former Nordic CEO at SF Studios, Kenneth Plummer, former MD at Nordisk Film and Fund Chairman of the Board Jakob Sand, former Global Head of Corporate Finance at global accountancy firm BDO.
“Basically we have inaugurated a new business model as a distribution outfit backed by a private fund that will allow us to invest MGs into Nordic feature films,” explains Fleischer.
“Distribution is our core business but as a production-driven company, we see ourselves as having deep insights into the needs of Nordic-based producers,” adds Bévort. “In that sense, we want to act as co-developers bringing new energy and funds to the feature film industry in the Nordics."
He continues: “The way we fund this operation is by raising capital from investors in Northern Europe. We are therefore adding volume to the existing eco system, increasing the future output of feature films. In the first fund, we are raising €15 million which by re-investing profits, converts to a total volume of €30 million. The strategy is over time to broaden the geographical range and raise money for two more funds with a total size of €75 million, which means over the next decade actively co-developing, investing and distributing in Northern Europe based on a €150 million source. In other words, we want to make a real difference and become a key industry player like Nordisk Film and SF Studios,” claims Bévort.
The goal for Scandinavian Film Funds is to invest in more than 50 state-subsidised feature films between 2020-2025, first in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and later in Finland and Iceland, targeting commercial-oriented local films with mid- to large-size budgets.
Asked how Scandinavian Film Funds Distribution will lure projects probably already on the radars of long-standing groups SF Studios and Nordisk Film, Fleischer said: “There are more than 100 commercial films on the Nordic market each year and we’d like to take close to 10% of that market. Of course, a lot of producers are locked in deals, but as there aren’t many options, we feel we can be an alternative to the big Nordic players.”
Fleischer said so far, his company has received “fantastic reaction and feedback” from organisations, producers and has secured LOIs from Nordic producers, although he couldn’t yet name specific titles.“Most of our projects are in early development stage and waiting for confirmation from institutes and co-financiers, therefore we don’t expect to announce specific titles before the summer,” he noted.
Quizzed about the challenge of launching a new distribution outfit under Covid-19, Fleischer said: “A lot of productions are on hold or delayed, and companies have a tough financial time, but hopefully things will normalise in the fall. It [Covid-19] will certainly impact our own projects, but it’s difficult to say right now to what extent. However, given the early development stage of the incoming projects, the process so far hasn't slowed down significantly.”