Endgame seeks bigger role in Asia

U.S. movie investor Endgame Entertainment Tuesday made a pitch to woo Asian producers and distributors, and said that it has made a “financial commitment” to Ironpond, the Asian-focused production and finance shingle headed by Peter Shiao and Teddy Zee.

Endgame prexy Douglas E. Hansen and business development VP Christopher Chen said that company could bring infrastructure and discipline to the Asian film production sector.

Commitment by Endgame to Ironpond is understood to be some $65 million and is a step up from the looser alliance that has previously existed between the two firms. Hansen also said that in addition to Endgame’s own commitment to Ironpond, the pair has “now started to raise money together” for investment in Asian movie biz.

Hansen admitted that the recent credit market crash had made it harder to raise coin for movie investment from private equity sources. ” ‘Slate funding’ is a term that won’t get you through the door in many places. That’s a shame because portfolio theory works. You need to call it ‘portfolio funding.’ “

Asian producers can approach either Ironpond or Endgame, Hansen said.

Financial discipline could include use of completion bonds, gap and super-gap finance.

“Asia is a great growth story. The build out of theaters is changing the market,” Hansen said. “Never mind figures of 1.3 billion people in China. The 250 million people in China’s middle class are underserved by the exhibition sector.”

Pitch was made as part of the new Co-Production PRO section of the Pusan Intl. Film Festival. In attendance were execs from companies including Hong Kong’s Fortissimo Films, China’s Infotainment China Media and Turquoise Pictures, Korea’s 24-7 Pictures and Cineclick Asia, as well as execs from France’s Metropolitan and U.S.’s Greenskyfilms.

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