First project to be directed by Mimi Leder
China’s Tiger 8 Media and Wuxi Jinyuan Industry Investment and Development Co. closed its Tiger Portfolio Film Fund (TPF), a revolving $150 million production fund that’s primarily aimed at films to be made in China.The Chinese city of Wuxi invested $50 million in equity and a private Chinese investor contributed gap financing. The debt facility was arranged by Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong. TPF’s first pic is a project formerly known as “Mandrake.” Pic, to be helmed by Mimi Leder and written by Kevin Bernhardt, will now be a more modern action-adventure that is no longer based on comicstrip character Mandrake the Magician. Thesps Hayden Christensen and Djimon Hounsou are in negotiations to board the untitled film, which will lense in the mountain area of Shangri-la and in studios in Beijing. Warner Bros. is in final negotiations for the domestic rights to the pic. Producers include Howard and Karen Baldwin and Ashok Amritraj. TPF is run by Justin Ackerman, Markus Barmettler and Sophie Xu. Omega Entertainment, headed by Peter Rogers and Tom Daniels, will handle TPF’s foreign and domestic sales. Fund has a $300 million capacity for co-financing and could invest in some 16 films over five years. “It is the first time Chinese and other investors have joined forces on a motion picture fund of this magnitude,” said Barmettler. Warner’s distribution proxy Dan Feldman said he expects to “participate in TPF’s and Omega’s significant flow of upcoming productions.” TPF will open offices in China and Los Angeles and is also involved with the development of a studio facility in the heart of Wuxi. The studios are part of China’s clear air initiatives to bring movie production and other industries to the Yangtze Triangle Region.