QED secures $50 million for film funding

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Film financing and international sales company QED International has secured $50 million from Comerica Bank and Aramid Entertainment Fund.

The first film to be financed using the new credit facility is "The Return," starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Pena. Lionsgate Films is handling domestic distribution on the film, and QED has begun selling in foreign territories. The Neil Burger-helmed film will begin principal photograph this month.

"This deal allows us to greenlight pictures and work with the kind of writers, directors and production companies to put together quality pictures with North American distribution," QED CEO Bill Block said. "It's ideal because we're flexible. We can partner or purely finance or handle sales. Part of our business plan is we embrace creativity wherever it resides."

QED, which does not develop material, sealed the deal before the Festival de Cannes, where it was repping "Return," but waited until Wednesday to make the announcement. The company, which finances two to three films per year, focuses on films in the $10 million-$35 million budget range.

"We're probably unique in two respects: speed and ease of greenlighting process," Block added.

QED's recent projects also include "The Hunting Party," written and directed by Richard Shepard and starring Richard Gere and Terrence Howard; and "Smart People," starring Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker.

"We are looking forward to combining this financing facility with QED's international sales and distribution infrastructure to provide a full range of services for our clients and partners," QED COO Paul Hanson said. "We believe the structure that we have designed with Comerica and Aramid enables us to finance pictures in a capital-efficient and risk-mitigated way for the benefit of all involved, both financially and creatively."

Bryan Lacour brokered the deal for Comerica while Simon Fawcett led for Aramid Entertainment Fund, which was repped by Schuyler Moore at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan. David Molner and Dan Miller negotiated on behalf of Screen Capital, while Block and Hanson led for QED, which was handled by Joshua Grode at Liner, Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif.
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