Sam Raimi Launches Chinese Joint Venture Allegory Films

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Sam Raimi

The new company, a partnership with German director Florian Von Donnersmarck, will finance pictures in the $30 million to $80 million range for the Chinese and international markets.

Spider-Man director Sam Raimi and German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck have partnered with Beijing Cultural Investment Holding to form a joint venture film company in China called Allegory Films.

The venture was announced at a signing ceremony Tuesday at the Beijing International Film Festival.

According to a regulatory filing in China, Allegory Films initially will produce two films a year. The partners said in a statement that Allegory will focus on Raimi and Donnersmarck’s directing projects, as well as other director-driven projects for the duo to produce.

Beijing Cultural Investment Holdings, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, has committed $150 million towards the venture. The partners say an additional financing round is expected to raise the production resources to $500 million. 

Beijing Cultural is the principal financial backer of Jackie Chan's film and TV production company Sparkle Roll Media. The conglomerate has other business lines in areas ranging from e-commerce to construction materials trading.

Von Donnersmarck is best known for writing and directing the 2006 Oscar-winning film The Lives of Others and 2010's The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Said Raimi and von Donnersmarck in a joint statement: “We have spent the last five years dreaming up and planning Allegory Films, a platform where we, and a group of directors we admire, will be able to make films of the highest quality with worldwide appeal under ideal conditions. Thanks to Beijing Cultural Investment, our dream has now become a reality.”

Allegory Films will finance pictures in the $30 million to $80 million range. The movies will be distributed in China by Cultural Investment Holdings, while international distribution will be handled by a Hollywood company, the partners said.

CAA, which represents Raimi and von Donnersmarck, brokered the investment deal.  

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