Producer sets up $200 mil film fund
Financing largely from private Russian equity
By ALI JAAFAR
Russian producer Leonid Minkovsky, whose finance and production shingle Ramco has Mischa Barton starrer “You and I” at Cannes, is setting up a $200 million film fund largely financed with private Russian equity.
The fund will finance predominantly English-language features for the international market; it already has a clutch of projects in development, including romantic comedies “Kiss the Frog” and “Connecting With Jack Gabriel.”
Minkovsky is in talks with Robin Wright Penn to play the lead female role in “Kiss the Frog” while Nick Guthe (“Mini’s First Time”) is attached to direct “Connecting With Jack Gabriel.”
Ramco is looking to begin production on “Kiss the Frog” this summer with lensing set to start on “Connecting With Jack Gabriel” in the fall.
Minkovsky has tapped two Russian businessmen for half the coin, and is seeking the rest of the financing from international sources.
Ramco has a strategic partnership with Russian web NTV, the third-largest broadcaster in the country.
“The majority of the money will be coming from Russian-based private equity,” Minkovsky told Variety. “We have a slate of projects which we’re currently working on. There are a lot of wealthy Russians around and most of them are unknowns.”
Minkovsky is also in talks with a U.S. studio about inking an output deal for films that are produced out of the fund.
Ramco stands for the Russian American Movie Co. It previously produced “Captivity.”
from Daily Variety, Cannes Edition Day 4, May 17th 2008