Zurich Festival Head Launches Production Shingle (Exclusive)

Karl Spoerri

With backing from Dhabi and German producer/distributor DCM, SPK Pictures plans to produce eight films English-language features over the next four years.

Zurich Film Festival co-founder and artistic director Karl Spoerri has launched his own production shingle, SPK Pictures, with an eye to co-financing and producing eight English-language features over the next four years.

SPK is backed by Falcon Private Bank, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, as well as Berlin-based producer/distributor DCM. The company has raised just over $10 million in equity and will raise another $10 million within the next 12 months. Falcon will hold a 35-percent stake in SPK, making it the largest single shareholder.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Spoerri said SPK was looking to be the co-financier, co-producer or lead financier on English-language productions in the $5 million-$15 million range. The company is aiming to produce two feature films a year, with the initial film to be announced at the start of 2016.

“This is really an extension of my work with the festival, where I have contact with a wide range of talents, producers and financiers,” said Spoerri.

Based in Zurich, SPK Pictures will have access to soft money subsidies in Switzerland and, through DCM, in Germany. Spoerri, however, said shooting or producing in either country will not be a perquisite for greenlighting new projects. Spoerri hopes to present the company's first projects in the coming months. 

The 11th Zurich International Film Festival runs Sept. 24-Oct.4.