Jeff Sagansky, Jean-Luc De Fanti Launch $250 Million Film Fund Hemisphere Media Capital

First initiative is financing venture with Asian partners for studio pictures with international appeal

NEW YORK - Winchester Capital Management founders Jean-Luc De Fanti and Jeff Sagansky, the former Paxson CEO and CBS and Sony Pictures top executive, on Tuesday unveiled a $250 million dollar fund called Hemisphere Media Capital, backed by institutional investors.

Its first investment, of an undisclosed amount, will be in Hemisphere Motion Picture Partners, a joint venture fund aimed at co-financing major studio pictures with strong international appeal. The fund expects to deploy more than $400 million in 8-10 pictures over a four-year investment period. It is in advanced talks with a number of studios, with the first co-financed pictures expected to be announced shortly.

The fund is a joint venture between Hemisphere, Japanese distributors Toho-Towa Company and Kadokawa Pictures, as well as RGM Media Ltd. of Singapore. Financed films would be distributed by the studio partners in all domestic and international territories, with the exception of Japan, where the Japanese partners would handle distribution. 

De Fanti said the goal was to find a new business approach to film financing. "The traditional independent film finance model is under strain," he said. "However, global audiences and therefore distributors remain hungry for mainstream Hollywood fare. In a world of dwindling capital availability, Hemisphere represents the template for a new approach, where films with global appeal are financed with a partnership of major studios, key strategic distributors and financiers."

De Fanti and Sagansky founded entertainment financing venture Winchester Capital in April 2007. Its feature film
investments include The Men Who Stare at Goats and a multi-picture financing deal with Luc Besson's Europa Corp. It also
financed the third season of TNT drama Leverage.