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Syndicate Films launches fund raising for film production

Film production and distribution company Syndicate Films has launched a GBP 1.7m fund raising under the UK's Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Syndicate Films' Stephen Salter said: We have raised just under GBP 500,000 to date and will shortly start pre-production on the first film. Once full production funds are raised the intention is to continue to raise the distribution budget for the DVD release in the UK and then raise the funds required for the second project.'

The funds raised will be used to produce and distribute up to three thriller /horror genre films.

Syndicate Films has chosen the thriller and horror genres as they are consistently in high demand in the UK and international film markets, illustrated by the success of films like Cabin Fever, The Decent and the recently released Wolf Creek.

Syndicate stated: 'These are films that may not have A list actors attached but they play on universal emotions that appeal across borders. Wolf Creek, produced on a budget of just USD 1m has grossed USD 25m worldwide to date'.

The company's business strategy is to produce the films primarily for the DVD market, which has seen high growth in recent years.

According to the British Video Association just 4m DVDs were sold in the UK in 1999, rising to an estimated 220m in 2005. By utilising the latest High Definition digital technology, now increasingly used by the BBC for its peak time drama productions, Syndicate claims it 'is able to produce for GBP 500,000 a film that would cost GBP 2m if made conventionally on film, significantly lowering the level of revenues needed to break-even. The company is also raising its own distribution funds so it will fully control the marketing in the UK'.

Additionally the company states it qualifies under the UK's Enterprise Investment Scheme offering tax advantages to certain investors to mitigate risk.
Syndicate also expects that its films will qualify for the new film tax credit being introduced from April 2006, worth up to 20% of the production costs.

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