Equity investors add $275 million to continue financing indies
Emmett/Furla Films — one of the most prolific producers of indie fare — and Envision Entertainment have raised an additional $275 million in equity for their year-old fund with the aim of maintaining its aggressive pace of financing films.The financing was announced Monday, 11 months after principals Randall Emmett and George Furla of Emmett/Furla and Envision’s Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase announced during the Toronto Film Festival that they’d partnered to establish a $250 million revolving equity and debt fund to finance a slate of “high-end, star-driven” commercial features. Since then, Emmett/Furla has had eight films in production, with four — “End of Watch,” “Lay the Favorite,” “Alex Cross” and “Broken City” — to be released in the next few months. Emmett/Furla said Monday that it has financed more than $300 million in movie production since last year. The banner’s prominence in the indie financing/producing sector — with a focus on mid-budget titles — has come as the six majors devote increasing resources to mega-budget tentpoles and franchises. The new funds were raised from equity partners of both Emmett/Furla and Envision Entertainment. “Raising money in this marketplace is extremely tough, but between both our companies, we were able to raise another fund and are excited to work with talented actors and filmmakers in 2013,” Emmett said in a statement. “Stepan, Remington, George and myself cannot be more excited about the next couple years.” Emmett/Furla is producing “2 Guns” with Universal, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington with a pricetag of $85 million. A pair of titles are in pre-production — “Lone Survivor,” starring Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg, and “Motor City” starring Gerard Butler and directed by Albert Hughes, with both slated to begin filming Sept. 20. Emmett/Furla recently wrapped production on “The Tomb,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone; “Empire State,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth; “Frozen Ground,” starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack; and drama “Fire With Fire,” starring Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson. Randall Emmett also continues to run Cheetah Vision Films with partner Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, which maintains its own equity fund through its deal with Lionsgate. That company’s action thriller “Freelancers,” starring Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Jackson, is due out in August. Emmett/Furla, founded in 1998, has produced over 70 films. Martirosyan and Chase are partners in the Russian petroleum industry and on developments in Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Moscow and London.