Charles D. King’s Macro, the production banner behind “Fences” and “Mudbound,” has raised another $150 million to help finance an annual slate of four to six film and TV projects.
The debt and equity financing comes from Emerson Collective, the investment venture headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, who was already a backer of Macro; as well as the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Libra Foundation. The new coin follows an initial eight-figure round of investment that Macro had at its launch in January 2015.
Macro’s mission of developing content that authentically represents the broad spectrum of stories and experiences among people of color has been a draw for foundations and other private equity sources looking for what has become known as “impact investing.”
“In supporting Charles and his extraordinary vision, I am thrilled to see the success Macro has generated in such a short period of time,” said Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective. “More than ever, it is vitally important that the content we consume reflects the complex diversity of who we are, inspires us to better understand experiences and perspectives different than our own, and brings forth talent, voices and stories that have been silent and unheard for too long.”
Macro made a splash last year as the co-financier of the feature adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis; Davis earned the supporting actress Oscar for her work.
Macro is also behind the buzzy Dee Rees pic “Mudbound” and another Washington starrer, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” Both pics are set to debut in November, with “Mudbound” headed to Netflix.
“We believe in the opportunity impact investing affords us to address the root causes of social inequities by harnessing the power of capital markets,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president- CEO of W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We believe in projects like Macro’s multi-media organization that will create and distribute new, complex and complete narratives that can influence our perspectives and perceptions about each other, toward a shared understanding of our collective humanity.”
King left his perch as a partner at WME to launch the multiplatform company. He has also been active in the digital arena, setting a deal last week with Time Inc. and Essence magazine for documentary projects and a digital video series examining the unsung female heroes of the 1960s civil rights movement. The company has a host of projects in various stages of development with such notable creatives as Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Rick Famuyiwa, Eva Longoria, Van Jones, Michael B. Jordan, and Justin Simien.
“Our success is proof that our slate is striking a chord with audiences globally,” King said. “This round of financing provides the capital necessary to build a robust slate of content that authentically represents the multi-faceted spectrum of our communities.”