Reliance Entertainment to fund David Linde’s new company

MUMBAI: David Linde and Reliance Entertainment have joined hands to form 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.

The new entity is specifically designed to take advantage of Linde’s experience in 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. Reliance has already proven itself a great partner and we look forward to working with them as we enter this new world,” said Linde.

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. We look forward to being part of his new venture," said Universal chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley.

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.  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. Each is not only the market leader in their countries, but also a tremendous advocate for filmmakers and audiences alike,” noted Linde.

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.

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.

As president of production Tory Metzger will oversee creative elements of all projects financed and developed by the production entity.

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.

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