New Company Establishes First Look Production and Related Distribution Agreement with Universal Pictures
Finalizes Key Overseas Output Deals in Select Territories
Tory Metzger and Adam Rymer Named as Head of Production and Chief Operating Officer, Respectively
Los Angeles May 24, 2011 David Linde and Reliance Entertainment, jointly announced today the official formation and funding of Linde – s new company, a new platform for film production and financing. Reliance Entertainment is providing the capital to finance the yet unnamed new venture. Working from a global distribution structure combining studio and independent distribution, the company will both produce and finance projects creating a clear brand of films designed for the worldwide marketplace.
For nearly two decades, Linde has proven a unique ability to join a singular vision with the intricacies of the domestic and international film marketplace. The new entity is specifically designed to take advantage of Linde’s experience in successfully bridging studio and independent production and distribution while managing and building both existing and start-up companies.
Our company is designed in response to a changing world. We have the opportunity to tap into the global industry’s desire for films while at the same time build a business that offers opportunities to our creative partners by harnessing both traditional means of distribution as well as new technologies, platforms and markets, said Linde. Reliance has already proven itself a great partner and we look forward to working with them as we enter this new world.
Linde has simultaneously concluded a production and distribution agreement for the new company with Universal Pictures, whereby Universal will have the first option to co-finance each developed project and distribute the films in the United States and other significant international territories. For films that Universal does not distribute domestically, Linde will produce and distribute such films with other motion picture studios.
“Over the years David has proven himself as an adept builder of content-based companies and Universal has been a beneficiary, said Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley. “We look forward to being part of his new venture.
Added Linde, Universal gave me the time, money and space to form a plan that we all believe in and can execute on. Their contribution has been significant and very much appreciated.”
Outside of the Studio distributed territories, the new company will maintain a network of direct output partnerships in several key territories around the globe, serving to complete its worldwide distribution platform.Â The company has recently concluded output deals for all its productions with the following companies:
Entertainment One (eOne) for Canada, the UK and Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)
Italia Films for the Middle East, Greece and Turkey
Nordisk Film for the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland)
Revolutionary Films for Eastern Europe (excluding Russia)
Sun Distribution for Latin America
Tele München Group (Germany, Austria along with certain rights in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein)
I’ve had the great fortune of distributing films through each of these companies, and have known their principals for many years,noted Linde. Each is not only the market leader in their countries, but also a tremendous advocate for filmmakers and audiences alike.
Reliance will handle distribution of the films in India.
Joining Linde in the senior management will be Tory Metzger as President of Production and Adam Rymer as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
Adam and Tory bring incredibly complimentary skill sets to the company added Linde. Allowing us to not only support our creative partners with experience and taste but also with a clear vision for the best and most complete presentation of each film.
In his role as COO, Rymer will oversee all financial operations and day-to-day business matters of the company. Rymer was most recently SVP of Digital Platforms at Universal Pictures overseeing mobile, gaming, digital cinema, digital distribution and new technology initiatives for the studio. He also served the studio as VP of Business Development and Strategic Planning where he was closely involved in film finance opportunities and M&A activities. Prior to his career in film, he worked in the digital and strategy units of Universal Music Group and as an Associate for LEK Consulting. He holds a A.B. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
As President of Production Tory Metzger will oversee creative elements of all projects financed and developed by the production entity. Prior to joining Linde, she most recently served as President of MRC film group where she supervised the company’s film slate including THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU and 30 MINUTES OR LESS as well as projects from Robert Rodriguez, Ricky Gervais, Cameron Diaz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Walter Salles and Bennett Miller. Metzger was with the Creative Artists Agency for nearly 17 years, where she worked with artists including Tom Cruise, Ang Lee, Cameron Crowe, Peter Hedges, Robert Benton, Betty Thomas, Spike Jonze, Callie Khouri, Edgar Wright, Richard Lagravenese and John Wells.
Alan J. Levine and Josh Small of Canon Media Partners structured the company’s business plan, arranged for the equity capital, and provided financial and strategic advice to both Linde and Reliance. Levine will join Linde and Reliance Entertainment’s Amitabh Jhunjhunwala on the new company’s Board.
Linde was represented by attorneys Harold Brown, Thomas Camp and Ken Garrett of Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown and Reliance by Stephen Scharf and Jordan Lichtman of OMelveny and Myers. David Boyle provided additional legal services for Linde in negotiating the international distribution output deals.
ABOUT RELIANCE ENTERTAINMENT
Reliance Entertainment is the media and entertainment arm of India’s Reliance Group, with a significant presence in film entertainment (film production, distribution, and exhibition), broadcasting and new media ventures.
In Hollywood, Reliance Entertainment has partnered with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider on the formation of DreamWorks Studios, and has several development deals, including among others, with Brian Gazer and Ron Howards’ Imagine Entertainment, Tom Hanks Playtone Productions, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, and Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment. Following its acquisition of IM Global, the company now benefits from an international sales team, with an excellent reputation and global presence, under the leadership of Stuart Ford.
In India, Reliance Entertainment (www.relianceentertainment.net), has built an impressive film production slate in Hindi, English and other Indian languages, which it markets and distributes worldwide. Group company, Reliance MediaWorks Ltd., is India’s fastest growing film and entertainment services company. Reliance MediaWorks has a leading presence in Film Services: Motion Picture Processing and DI; Film Restoration and Image Enhancement; 3D; Digital Mastering: Studios and Equipment rentals; Visual Effects; Animation; and TV Post Production, with a presence across India, the US, UK, Russia and Japan.
The Reliance ADA Group is among India’s leading business houses, with total assets touching US$ 42 billion and net worth of over US$ 19 billion. Across different companies, the group has a customer base of over 230 million, the largest in India.
ABOUT UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT ONE
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,400 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
ABOUT ITALIA FILM
Privately held ITALIA FILM is the largest USA/European Independent film Buyer/Distributor for the Middle East in addition to being the Walt Disney Pictures exclusive distributor in the region since 1993. Italia Film’s CEO/major Partner Joseph Vincenti, known as a pioneer and pillar of the movie industry in the region, started the company in 1954 for the distribution of Italian films and then extended its activities to include the distribution of French and U.S. films. Italia Film, is the only company in the Middle East, releasing the films distributed on a percentage basis with branch offices in Dubai serving the Gulf States; Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman; Cairo serving Egypt; Amman serving Jordan; and Beirut serving Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan.
NORDISK FILM is part of the Egmont Group and is the leading Nordic developer, producer and distributor of creative content within movies, games and music. Nordisk Film holds the Nordic distribution rights to Sony PlayStation and is the leading cinema operator in Denmark. The company also supplies production and post-production facilities to a number of Nordic film companies. In 2010, Nordisk Film launched 60 combined local and Independent pictures across the Nordic countries. Nordisk Film has output arrangements with Summit Entertainment and Relativity Media. In addition to this Nordisk Film is the co-owner of the highly profiled Nordic production companies Zentropa, Matila RÃ¶hr Nordisk, Solar Films, Fladen Film and Maipo. Nordisk Film generated total revenue of EUR 383 million in 2010. The company employs a staff of 1,100 in the Nordic region.
ABOUT REVOLUTIONARY RELEASING
Revolutionary Releasing was founded 14 years ago by Mariusz Lukomski and Andre Boissier and has since become a leading content provider in Eastern Europe, with a library of more than 400 films and such notable titles as RUNWAY BRIDE, WHAT WOMEN WANT, HANNIBAL and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, to name but a few. Â MR. & MRS. SMITH and the TWILIGHT trilogy were also acquired for select territories. Upcoming releases include HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION starring Mel Gibson, LOOPER with Bruce Willis, COGAN’S TRADE with Brad Pitt and GAMBIT with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz, among others.
Revolutionary Releasing recently expanded its footprint into the tv arena with the acquisition of the GK Films series, CAMELOT.
ABOUT SUN DISTRIBUTION
Sun Distribution, a part of Telefilms Group has become one of the Group’s key companies. Although Sun was launched 10 years ago, it has displayed an exponential growth during the last 3 years, upgrading the quality of its acquisitions while also increasing its number of pics per year. Through Sun Distribution, Telefilms Group has access to Hollywood first class titles, as for instance the 2011 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture THE KING’S SPEECH.
To sum up, Telefilms Group is the only Latin American independent distributor with 50 years inside Hollywood’s heart and currently offering more than 30 high budgeted commercial releases a year (many of them distributed by the majors in the United States). Some of its most important upcoming releases are, among others: THE HUNGER GAMES, LOOPER, LARRY CROWNE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, THE SKIN THAT I INHABIT and GAMBIT.
About Tele München Group
TMG is a fully integrated media company, which has been successfully operating in the market for more than 40 years. TMG is able to exploit all audio-visual rights through its own distribution channels. Its activities include the production and acquisition of feature films, TV productions and classical music programs, as well as their distribution in the theatrical, video, broadcasting and merchandising sectors. TMG recently renewed its output agreement with Summit Entertainment and owns Germany’s number one theatrical independent distributor, Concorde Filmverleih. In addition, TMG is a shareholder in the nationwide free TV-stations TELE 5 and RTL II. in Germany as well as ATV in Austria and continues to strengthen its strategic market position through partnerships with other companies, such as the CinemaxX AG exhibition chain, the post-production service provider CineMedia Film AG and the On Demand-service prodvider ODD.
For More Information:
Paul Pflug / Hans Kopal
Principal Communications Group