Troika Dialog to target small investors

Film fans in Russia will get the chance to invest in making movies after director and producer Timur Bekmambetov’s shingle Bazelevs launched a finance fund with bank Troika Dialog.

The fund was announced in St. Petersburg Friday by Troika Dialog chief business officer Jacques Der Megreditchian.

It will bow with an offer to investors to back $10 million cartoon caper “Smesharki 3D” — now in the final stages of production — produced by Bekmambetov.

Director Denis Chernov said the extra cash would help boost the pic’s fall promo campaign ahead of its December release.

“We are enabling investors to participate in films via the fund,” Der Megreditchian told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. He said the funds would be earmarked for specific projects lasting a year to 18 months.

This would enable investors to back their favorite directors, stars and genres, he added.

The fund is a departure from traditional studio, private equity or high net investor strategies, which usually have longer-term return structures.

Designed to open up film finance to smaller private investors, the fund will work within Russian financial legislation.

Returns will be based not just on local box office receipts, but also international, television and other ancillary sales.

Bekmambetov said, “This is about the market creation of projects, which may change the approach to investing in film, making it more efficient and democratic.

“The private investor is a tool that allows you to carefully, and attentively, evaluate all parameters of a project. Funds will flow to the most promising projects. The market reaction will be instantaneous. It will be a major change in the film industry.”

The announcement comes just a week before Variety’s Moscow Film Finance Forum, due to take place on June 24 in association with Winston Baker.

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