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Charlotte Walls Sets Up Catalyst, Produces ‘Pomegranate Soup,’ ‘Genus’

LONDON — Former Matador Pictures producer Charlotte Walls has founded production and finance outfit Catalyst Global Media, which will deliver high-end, mainstream films and TV series to the global marketplace. Walls will run the company as its CEO. Al Hardiman and Gideon Lyons are co-founders, and serve as principal partners.

The company, which is backed by private equity sources out of London, will work with various partners to build a diverse slate of four to six projects a year across feature films and digital/television series.

Catalyst’s first feature film projects will be adaptations of novels “Pomegranate Soup” and “Genus.”

“Pomegranate Soup” is based on the novel by the late Iranian novelist Marsha Mehran. The film is being adapted by Irish writer Kirsten Sheridan, who is also attached to direct. It is a feel-good story about three beguiling Iranian sisters, who find themselves moving to a quirky Irish village, and face the challenge of winning over the locals by opening a Persian-inspired delicatessen and café. It is “a heart-warming tale of family, friendship and romance.”

“Genus” is an action-packed sci-fi thriller based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell. Trigell wrote the script for “Boy A,” which was backed by Film4 and the Weinstein Co., and won four BAFTAs. “Genus” is being adapted for the screen by Mike Carey, the novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter best known for the graphic novels “Lucifer,” “Hellblazer” and “X-Men: Legacy.”

The story is set in the future, when genetic selection and physical perfection are the norm — all the qualities men and women aspire to can be purchased prior to birth — and those financially unable to “self-improve” are ostracized as an underclass in the Kross. When a series of disturbing murders shake the Kross, the unorthodox Detective Gunt is assigned to the case. As he gets closer to the truth and uncovers a larger conspiracy, he comes to question everything he’s ever known to be true.

Both films will go into production within the next year.

Since 2006, the founders have launched a series of companies that operate within the U.K.’s Enterprise Investment Scheme, and are engaged in feature film and television development and international sales. These will now be advised by Catalyst.

“We are launching Catalyst with a dedicated production finance specialism, and as such we will advise a number of EIS companies engaged in the business of international sales for feature films and television, as well as funding the development of original film and television projects,” Walls said.

The company plans to launch into the indie-gaming market within the next 18 months.

Walls added: “At our core we seek to nurture and champion creative talent, and find ourselves taking creative risks and pushing boundaries as a matter of course. Content, in all forms, is increasing in value around the world. Whether exploiting original stories, developing an epic franchise, or adapting/reimagining classic works, the strategically vetted approach to financing new films and properties is appealing to us. We’re aligning high-quality content with funding and business execution in a way that can maximize the exploitation and commercialization of that content for the content owners, distributors, investors and Catalyst alike.”

Catalyst will provide funding and services to third parties as well as its own content.

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