U.K.-based Great Point has bought into Seven Seas Films, the British indie producer that recently teamed with BBC Studios for a drama series about the final months of Marilyn Monroe. Great Point has a new “enterprise investment scheme” fund, Great Point Ventures, and is primed to invest in several more film and TV producers in the U.K.
The U.K. has rejigged the EIS funding mechanism, which in the past has been extensively used to back slates and individual projects. That is no longer possible, but the new rules do allow for investment in media firms.
Demand for content is high, but producers often need finance to keep their operations up and running amid the ebb and flow of production. Many opt for deals with sales firms who get a first look at the international rights to their output. Great Point also has a sales division, which is active at Cannes, but co-founder Jim Reeve told Variety that its investments do not come with the requirement that they take rights.
“Content is king in the TV business and the Seven Seas team has an impressive reputation for crafting great stories that capture the attention of audiences and are thus in demand from broadcasters and distributors looking for the next hit show,” said Reeve, speaking at the Cannes Film Festival. “Our investment and support will help the Seven Seas team on this exciting next stage of growth, and we look forward to seeing their great work make it to the screen in the coming months.”
Seven Seas was set up by Simon Lupton, a former Left Bank Pictures and UKTV executive, and Dan Sefton, who has written series for the BBC, ITV, and Sky among others. “This is a time of great change in the TV and film world, and this partnership gives us a great chance to take advantage of these new opportunities and develop fresh and exciting voices and ideas for the screen,” Sefton said.
Great Point is out raising capital for its Ventures fund and looking to close its next tranche in July. It has already used the fund to invest in screening portal ProgramBuyer, film and TV data analytics outfit Looper Insights, and immersive games platform Brightlobe.