3 firms bank on $250 mil fund


NEW YORK -- Production outfit Nehst Studios, Lexicon Filmed Entertainment and Machine Made Media have partnered to share $250 million assembled from private hedge funds to finance features, TV series and Web series.

Nehst chairman Larry Meistrich and president Ari Friedman, Lexicon founder Marina Martins and Machine founder Harrison Kordestani initially will use the fund to finance properties from each of their companies, including Machine's upcoming slate with Warner Home Video and partners George Alexandru and Kevin Cain.

Meistrich, former founder of production outfit the Shooting Gallery, says the identity of the hedge funds involved are private because of confidentiality laws. Projects, he says, will range from $1 million to $50 million.

"We want to work outside the studio system with some productions on the same scale," said Meistrich, whose company also finances and distributes films.

Upcoming projects financed by the fund will include Nehst's mining accident drama "And One for All" and the youth drama "The Flicker's Dance," along with the youth-sports comedy Web series "Dribble Kick Throw."

Lexicon, which works with international production partners to co-produce films, plans to finance such projects as "La pierde almas," based on the Day of the Dead festival as detailed in a book and paintings by Jonathan Barbieri.

Machine's upcoming slate of more than 30 features includes "Brodie's Law" from director Renny Harlin.