Veteran financier Cassian Elwes and production-finance company Armory Films and its partners Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros have created Zeal Media Co. as an independent film finance and production company.
The announcement came on Tuesday, two days before the opening of the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market.
The newly formed operation’s first film is “Billionaire Boys Club,” which recently wrapped production and was directed by James Cox with Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Emma Roberts, Jeremy Irvine and Bokeem Woodbine starring. Good Universe is handling sales at Berlin.
Zeal has a goal of financing and/or producing up to eight films per year. The company will focus on producing “sophisticated, thought provoking” and talent-driven material.
Armory provided financing on “Billionaire Boys Club” with Elgort playing Joe Hunt and Egerton as Dean Karny. The film will follow the rise and fall of Hunt and Karny, who ran a Ponzi scheme called the Billionaire Boys Club in the early 1980s.
“It has been my privilege to get to know Chris and Tim,” Elwes said. “They are the kind of partners one always hopes to find and I look forward to making lots of movies with them.”
Armory and Elwes previously worked together on Eli Roth’s “Cabin Fever” reboot.
Elwes arranged financing for over 250 films and has exec producing credits on “The Dallas Buyers Club,” “All Is Lost” and “The Butler.”
Lemole and Zajaros began working together at UTA before forming their own finance and production company in 2012. They produced “Zombeavers,” which led them to the partnership on “Cabin Fever.”
“This is a logical development for our rapidly growing film finance and production operation,” Lemole said. “The partnership base will allow us to have more day-to-day contact with agencies, talent and distributors. The addition of development resources will also act as an invaluable search engine for projects we can board as a financier, an area of our business we’re very intent on growing.”