Backup backs ‘Rebirth,’ growth

Shingle brokers worldwide rights to pic

Backup Films, a film consultancy-turned investor, has brokered TF1 Intl.’s acquisition of worldwide rights outside France on “Rebirth,” helmed by Jean-Marc Mineo.

Paris-based Backup also intends to establish film-funding outposts in two or three other European countries, Backup partner Joel Thibout said at Cannes.

Now in post, “Rebirth” was shot in Bangkok in English. It’s produced by Cedric Jimenez at France’s Le Cercle, Christian Gerber for G&G, and Thai securities and financial house SFS Intl. — another deal structured by Backup. TF1 Intl. is shopping a promo at Cannes.

“Rebirth” is the latest of a string of investment and brokerage deals for Backup. It provided development and production funding on helmer Yann Samuell’s TF1-sold “War of the Buttons,” and invested in director Florent Emilio Siri’s “Cloclo.”

Though Thibout declined to reveal the countries that Backup is eying for expansion, the rationale looks clear.

Investing in French films mainly against a first-position corridor on international sales, Backup has already run up expertise in international markets.

“As a funder, being able to combine tools from several countries in Europe will give us huge leverage,” Thibout said.

In some countries, tax-driven finance can’t be pulled down year-round, and traditional bank lenders are pulling out of film financing in parts of Europe.

Backup’s priority is to set up its ops with third-party local partners, Thibout said.

Thanks to subsidies and tax breaks, Europe’s problem is not a lack of money, but access to it at the right time and under the right conditions. There, Thibout said, Backup can make a difference — inside and outside France.

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