$8.5 million program open to all EU Media Program members
British and Scandinavian production companies, banks and private investment funds are being targeted in a marketing push as a European Union media production guarantee fund rolls out.The €6 million ($8.5 million) four-year program guarantees up to 50% of a production loan up to $1.7 million (for a $3.4 million loan), which, when leveraged, means it could help support upward of $130 million in fresh loans. The scheme is operated through France’s Ifcic and Spain’s Audiovisual SGR, two of the few institutions in Europe, along with German regional guarantee banks, which underwrite bank loans to their national film and TV industries. Thierry Baujard, head of Berlin-based film finance consultancy Peacefulfish, which is marketing the scheme, said the U.K. and Scandinavia are ripe for it, although it is open to film and TV production companies across the 32 member countries of the EU’s Media Program. “We know there are some interesting and sophisticated companies that could be interested in this scheme, and because of the subsidies and tax credit systems in different countries, we know there is a need for cash flow,” Baujard said. Baujard, who has been talking with Scandinavian companies and banks including Nordea Bank, Zentropa and Nimbus Film, is in Cannes to push the scheme. His company carries out due diligence on submissions before applications are made.