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Atwater Capital Backing China’s Zhengfu Pictures on ‘Age of Game’

China’s Zhengfu Pictures is set as one of the first companies to benefit from new film-financing source Atwater Content Investment Fund (ACIF).

The $30 million fund was hatched by Los Angeles-based venture financier Atwater Capital. The new fund will “focus on the early acquisition of material in partnership with the innovative talent that can shepherd it to reality.”

Zhengfu is a company that straddles China and Hollywood and is headed by Alex Zhang, a former Alibaba Pictures executive, and Han Sanping, the producer-director who used to head state-controlled China Film Group.

ACIF and Zhengfu will team up on “Age of Game,” adapted from a seven-novel series about elite gamers recruited to fight for Earth’s survival in a digital war zone. Zhang will produce and Han executive produce.

“The most powerful position in today’s marketplace is being in control of strong underlying material,” said Vania Schlogel, Atwater Capital founder and managing partner. “Content is power, and ACIF represents a unique approach to keep that power in the hands of those who wield it best: the creatives and creators.”

ACIF will continue to build out its portfolio with the next generation of tastemakers and content creators in film, television and new media. “The fund will take a hands-off approach to the development process, and investments will be cross-genre and cross-media, with the dual goals of creative empowerment and commerciality,” it said in a statement. Atwater Capital and ACIF are represented exclusively by CAA Media Finance and CAA China.

Zhengfu, formerly known as JX Co., has one twin-track film and TV strategy that addresses the growing Chinese market and another focusing on the global English-language market. It will mitigate risk by spreading itself across movies and TV from the outset.

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