Film 7 Ent. has the right number

Venture capital fund aims to back 25-30 features

In the latest financing initiative to emerge in Hollywood, Film 7 Entertainment Group is launching the venture capital fund Film 7, aiming to back about 25 features in the less-than-$20 million budget range during the next five years.

What makes Film 7 unique is its founding management team, which boasts a who's who of veteran producers, including Barrie Osborne ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy), Doug Claybourne ("The Fast and the Furious"), David Ladd ("Hart's War"), longtime Francis Ford Coppola producer Fred Roos ("The Godfather: Part II" and "Part III") and Clint Eastwood producer David Valdes ("Unforgiven"). Among them, they have made more than 100 films. Film 7 managing director of finance Brad Blackman rounds out the team.

Film 7 producers, along with investors from Silicon Valley and other non-Hollywood sources, are aiming to develop a library of features through the team's industry connections. They will draw revenue from theatrical, home video, television, merchandising, music publishing and other ancillary sources.

"We are creating a unique and lucrative vehicle for investors, focused around the role, integrity and talent that producers bring to the filmmaking process," said David Valdes, interim CEO of Film 7 Entertainment Group. "Much like the venture capital firms that are a mainstay of business in Silicon Valley, Film 7 looks to empower investors as limited partnerships with an eye towards providing significant returns while enjoying the ability to give important stories the chance to be told."

The fund plans to launch with two films in its first year, followed by four to six films each subsequent year, using low-budget specialty hits such as "Little Miss Sunshine," "Sideways" and "Crash" as examples of films they hope to follow.

"We look forward to teaming with investors from Silicon Valley and other areas who will bring new business savvy and a fresh perspective to the filmmaking process," Claybourne said.