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24 Jan 2007

Amarid Hedge Fund Launches New Movie Making Fund

Simon Fawcett, chief executive of hedge fund Aramid Capital Partners, announced that they are spearheading the launch of The Aramid Entertainment Fund, a hedge fund with a strategy of financing independent British films.

Aramid was formed with three other film finance experts, namely Tim Levy of the UK's future films, David Molner from Los Angeles firm Screen Capital and Thomas Adamek from Stonehenge Capital.

The hedge fund team has in the past financed films including "Kill Bill 2", "The Queen", "Girl with a Pearl Earring", and "Bend it Like Beckham". According to the Times Online, the new Aramid Entertainment Fund is planning on backing Manolete, a biopic of Spain’s most famous bullfighter. The hedge fund, which was launched last October, expects the film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.


Aramid is expected to raise well above the £150 million originally targeted by the end of this year, as hedge fund interest in film financing picks up speed in Britain. Experts are saying that hedge funds are increasingly interested in asset-backed lending, such as film and television financing, because it offers an opportunity to diversify their investments.

The hedge fund works by offering “bridge finance” to UK producers, the hedge fund offers credit to film companies based on the tax rebates that they will receive when the film is complete. Under a new tax scheme to encourage film-making in Britain, producers can gain tax credits depending on how much of a film is produced in the UK. It does take time to receive the benefit in cash, however, which is where the hedge fund intends to come in and provide finance to bridge the gap.

A more common tax-based method of financing is for investors to lend money to finance films, then offset the cost of making the film against their personal tax liabilities. Aramid demands a minimum investment of $50,000 and targets a 20% yearly return for investors.

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