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BERLIN – A new film financing company backed by British billionaire Toby Moores – an entrepreneur and investor who holds the patent on the iPhone lock technology – and run by film veteran Wendy Rutland has revealed the first three high-profile titles it has invested in as part of a slate deal with Exclusive Media.
Da Vinci Media Ventures has invested in The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, a sequel to the horror hit starring Daniel Radcliffe; A Walk Among the Tombstones, based on Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder book series and starring Liam Neeson; and in Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christina Hendricks.
Based in New York, Da Vinci intends to be a major player on the film financing scene and is in the process or raising a multi-million fund on Wall Street. Moores is CEO, while Rutland is president of film and television.
There are four other members of Da Vinci’s management team, including veteran fund manager Maximilian Kogler. It will focus on slate deals with movie companies, and will provide any part of the financing structure, including marketing.
Da Vinci is planning a formal launch at Cannes in May, but is already actively looking at projects, including in the television and video games sectors.
Rutland, who is at Berlin’s European Film Market to meet with producers and sales agents, said she wants to be involved in titles from the ground floor after spending the last two decades working in acquisitions and distribution. “I want to see my baby grow up, go to college, walk down the aisle and have grandkids. There’s not quick and easy win,” Rutland said.
A current shake up at Exclusive does not impact Da Vinci’s deal with that company. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Exclusive co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East are likely to leave the production, financing
Moores is the latest tycoon to turns his attention to Hollywood. Born in Liverpool, he is the grandson of Sir John Moores, founder of British retail and gambling company Littlewoods. In 1997, he launched Sleepydog Ltd., which produces a range of multimedia content for global mobile phone operators.
His investments include the PIN number patent for every phone sold in the U.S. and U.K. and Pay-As-You-Go scratch cards. He has also provided social media services to Thomson Reuters, the World Bank and the three main political parties in the U.K.
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