Fremantle & Israel’s IBI Investment House launch $165m scripted content fund

Fremantle’s Andrea Scrosati & Jennifer Mullin

Fremantle has joined forces with Israel-based IBI Investment House to launch a €150m ($165m) scripted content fund, with three projects in the works including a movie starring Angelina Jolie.

The four-year pact will cover TV and films, with Fremantle taking projects from its network of production companies to the IBI fund to secure financing and to fast-track production.

Greenlight decisions will be made by IBI Fund and Fremantle, with the group’s global drama team led by CEO Christian Vesper working with the Israeli financier throughout the lifecycle of each production. All TV projects approved through the fund will be distributed by Fremantle International.

The deal was struck by Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s group COO and CEO of Continental Europe, and Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Fremantle-owned Abot Hameiri.

Hameiri will become CEO of the new fund and oversee the selected portfolio of projects.

Fremantle & IBI Fund debut projects

The three projects selected for the first round of funding are six-part drama Shelter, four-parter Generation Loss and Maria, a film  about opera singer Maria Callas.

Shelter has been created and written by Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton (Thorne) with Abot Hameiri and Sarah Condon from Fair Harbor attached to produce, and Jeremy Webb (The Last Of Us) set as director.

Generation Loss is a mystery thriller written by Sarah Dollard (Bridgerton) and based on the book series by Elizabeth Hand. Producers are Hilary Martin for Fremantle, Sarah Condon from Fair Harbor and Euston Films.

Maria tells the tumultuous and tragic story of Maria Callas, reliving and re-imagining her final days in 1970s Paris. It stars Jolie in the lead role, with Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) writing and Pablo Larraín directing. Fabula Pictures, The Apartment Pictures and Komplizen Film produce.

Fremantle struck a three-year pact with Jolie in 2022, with an agreement for the star to develop an “internationally focused” slate of films, documentaries and series together, in which she will produce, direct, and/or star.

Jennifer Mullin, Fremantle CEO, described the deal as “the perfect example” of the company’s focus on innovation, while Scrosati added that it would “enable us to be extremely competitive in the marketplace” as well as providing “an ability to accelerate… projects while maintaining control in an ever-changing industry.”

Similar initiatives have been launched by various companies previously, including a £150m fund created in 2017 between BBC Studios and financier Anton for scripted projects with gobal potential.

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