Sherezade expands reach in Western film

Banner teams with Desert Door, Kuwait Cable Vision

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LONDON -- Bahrain-based financier and production banner Sherezade Films said Thursday that it has joined forces with Dubai-based film and TV production banner Desert Door Prods. and Kuwaiti media services company Kuwait Cable Vision.

The aim is to build SF into "a key player in the Western independent film industry," the company said.

Since early 2006, SF has co-financed and co-produced 12 U.S. movies including the Dennis Quaid/Sarah Jessica Parker starrer "Smart People" and "The Lucky Ones," with Tim Robbins and Rachel McAdams.

Both KCVand Desert Doors Prods. have "invested significantly" in SF and through this deal become "a major shareholder in the company."

"We at KVision are focused on addressing the full digital media cycle from creation to distribution," said KCV CEO Mohammed Kateeb, who also is Desert Door Prods.' GM. "Creation of content is an important part of this cycle and, today, international entertainment and especially Western content represent a great percentage of media being delivered to the Middle East audience."

He said that SF's output is "in line with our vision" and that the partnership is "a good vehicle" to press ahead with its strategy.

"On the Desert Door front, we are a film production company with a mission to bring high quality and socially responsible film making to the Middle East," Kateeb added. "Partnering with SF will provide us the experience and key Hollywood connections to achieve this objective faster."

Separately, SF has launched Sherezade Film Marketing Co. in a move into the film distribution business, initially in the U.S. and then Canada and Europe.

By the end of 2009, SF aims to raise and allocate up to $100 million for a P&A fund to cover the cost of theatrical releases. It will invest only in completed films.