LONDON — Flashpoint, the British film financier, has earmarked $250 million to launch a European production and distribution company, dubbed Alchymie.
Alchymie will be run by Brit producer Simon Channing-Williams of Imagine Films, whose slate already is bankrolled by Flashpoint.
Details of the venture, which is due to be unveiled Oct. 27 in London, remain sketchy. But insiders said Alchymie will embrace production, foreign sales and even theatrical distribution in some territories, starting with the U.K.
Flashpoint is also understood to be courting former October Films partners Bingham Ray and John Schmidt, suggesting that U.S. distribution also may be on the agenda.
Flashpoint itself remains something of an enigma. Run by partners David Forrest and Beau Rogers, it has raised $250 million in venture capital over the past four years to fully finance more than 60 low-budget movies. These were mostly U.S. video pics, but they included “Gods and Monsters.” Flashpoint plans to invest another $250 million over the next five years to build Alchymie into a leading European player.
The company, which is based on the English island of Jersey, has never divulged the source of its money, either to the press or to its film industry partners. It only has said the capital has been raised “from the city of London” — the U.K.’s financial center. Forrest, a Brit, was formerly involved in London’s insurance markets, while Rogers, who hails from Philadelphia, came from the completion-bond business.
Whatever the source, however, it is clear that Flashpoint’s cash is real. It has delivered every slate of films it has announced. Its deal with Imagine, unveiled at Cannes last year, already has produced “Accelerator,” “New Year’s Day” and “Strong Boys.”
“Accelerator,” an Irish teen thriller, was screened in this year’s Cannes market to a lukewarm response, and is being reworked. “New Year’s Day,” directed by Suri Krishnama, is in post, and “Strong Boys” is shooting.
Imagine’s slate, which is repped internationally by the Sales Co., will be rolled into Alchymie.
U.K. Culture Minister Chris Smith will be guest of honor at the company’s Oct. 27 launch party.