Looking to become more self-sufficient, Gotham-based City Lights Media Group has set up a private equity fund to finance the acquisition, development and production of its films.
The City Lights Pictures Film Fund also will be used to finance co-production deals with outside partners. All told, City Lights plans on investing at least $150 million in various projects over the next several years.
“Certainly, we’ve already accumulated in the low seven figures,” City Lights Media chief exec Danny Fisher said.
First film to be financed is in the process of being greenlit, he said.
Within the company, three shingles will rely on the coin — City Lights Pictures, City Lights Uptown and City Lights 3000.
City Lights Pictures, which last year exec produced John Waters’ “A Dirty Shame,” will produce movies with budgets of $3 million to $12 million.
It also is exec producer of supernatural thriller “Tamara,” which Lions Gate Film will release later this year in the U.S. Pic, scripted by Jeffrey Reddick (“Final Destination”), was shopped at Cannes earlier this month for international distribs.
Fisher, who will serve as chairman of the new fund, also oversees City Lights Pictures with brothers Jack and Joe, and partner Michael Almog.
City Lights Uptown will focus on the urban market, while City Lights 3000 will produce films budgeted at no more than $1 million, including horror pics and teen comedies.
Fisher said the new fund has attracted “significant partners,” but that he wasn’t free to disclose names. On specific projects, the fund could team up with other equity investors or film funds, such as Wall Street’s DH Blair Film Capital Fund, whose president is Almog.
City Lights operates one of the largest post-production houses in New York, has ramped up its TV production in the past two years and has just opened an L.A. office.