TORONTO — Imperial Entertainment Group, the film finance division of Imperial Bancorp, is expanding into Canada via a new deal with Toronto-based Independent Film Financing. The Canuck outfit will be Imperial’s exclusive representative in the Great White North and will help the Los Angeles-based film lending company up its presence significantly.
Imperial has been providing financial services to Canadian production companies for several years, but the company hopes to substantially increase its Canadian client roster with the move.
“We came to the realization that we were only going to get so far managing the territory from the L.A. office,” said Imperial Entertainment Group president Morgan Rector. “You have to have someone there day-to-day for face-to-face contact. It’s a territory which, in a lot of different ways, supports the independent film business and there’s a demand for the product here.”
Independent Film Financing founder Laura Polley will be responsible for the daily operations of the Canadian activity for Imperial Entertainment Group. Polley formerly served as vice president of Paragon Financial Investments in Toronto and she has a background in setting up tax shelter and tax credit financ-ing. Through Independent Film Financing, Imperial will provide production financing, film slate financing, co-production advice, consulting services and tax-credit support in Canada. Imperial, which recently inked a similar deal with a company in Melbourne, Australia, is looking to establish a beachhead in the U.K. as well.