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Fundraising Game-Changer

This was a landmark week for US-based film investing. For the past 80 years, those looking to raise funds for their film projects – or film startups – could not declare that they were doing so to the world at large. The law required them to talk to investors individually, one painstaking meeting at a time. Now that the SEC has voted to approve Title II of the JOBS Act, this ban on “General Solicitation” has finally been lifted. Filmmakers will be able to advertise their fundraising publicly, so long as they make reasonable efforts that investors financing the film are accredited. Now promoting publicly on Slated (not only to our members), tweeting, Facebook postings, press mentions, even billboards on Sunset Boulevard will be legal…



There is a period of 60 days until the SEC allows filmmakers (and all other fundraising entities) to advertise. So expect to see some changes on Slated by mid-September. One complication is a potential pre-filing of a "Form D", which could add time and/or cost to the fundraising process. We'll keep you posted on solutions for that and there will also be a more in-depth Filmonomics analysis of the new ruling next week. In the meantime, if you love reading government documents, here is the full brief.

Unfortunately, Title III of the JOBS Act – which promises to open the crowdfunding gates by also allowing unaccredited investors to participate in private offerings – will not be ruled on until 2014. But with an estimated
8.7 million accredited investors in the US, the Title II ruling will already help accelerate the fundraising process by virtue of greater promotional reach. We’ll certainly be working on accredited investing using general solicitation over the next couple of months. After all, as a Forbes business columnist noted this week: this is exciting news for entrepreneurial fundraising and for investment crowdfunding platforms that connect new ideas with investors.

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THE WAY WAY BACK OPENS WAY IN FRONT
Fox Searchlight’s $9.75 million purchase of THE WAY, WAY BACK at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is already looking shrewd. The comedy debuted in 19 U.S. theaters last weekend and grossed an average of $30,263 from each venue, putting it top of the specialist box office. As of July 10, the cumulate gross was just shy of $700,000. The film will expand to 650-750 theatres on July 26.

KRISTEN BELL DRAMA SET FOR RELEASE
Another Sundance film, THE LIFEGUARD, will be made available on VOD on July 30 followed by a limited theatrical release starting August 30. U.S. distribution rights were jointly acquired earlier this year by Focus World and Screen Media Films. 

U.S. DEALS FOR AFTERNOON DELIGHT, MISTER AND PETE
Meanwhile, two other Slated-listed films that also premiered at Sundance have secured their own U.S. distribution deals. Codeblack Films, Lionsgate’s new urban label, has picked up for THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE. Theatrical rights to AFTERNOON DELIGHT have been acquired by The Film Arcade, with Cinedigm handling ancillary markets.

COMING SOON ALSO: MORE SINFUL ENTERTAINMENT
Several Slated members also have films coming out soon. Aug 2 sees the IFC Films release in select theatres and on cable VOD of Paul Shrader’s The Canyons written by Bret Easton Ellis. In October US audiences will also get to see Adventures In The Sin Bin, which was produced Dante Federighi and picked up by Phase 4 Films. And in the UK, Koch Media is putting out Confine, produced by Emily Corcoran, who also appears in the thriller. 

BLUEBIRD WINS PRIZES AT KARLOVY VARY
The four principal actresses in Lance EdmandsBLUEBIRDAmy Morton, Louisa Krause, Emily Meade and Margo Martindale - all shared the Best Actress Award at the 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, among Europe’s most prestigious festivals. The film also won the Czech festival’s Ecumenical Jury Award.

HEAT RISES FOR CRACK COCAINE KINGPIN
Rick Ross, the legendary L.A. drug trafficker who is the subject of Marc Levin’s nearly completed documentary CRACK IN THE SYSTEM: THE FREEWAY RICK ROSS STORY, is also getting the full Hollywood treatment. Press reports say that Boardwalk Empire star Michael K Williams is in line to play Ross opposite Jeremy Renner in Focus Features’ Kill The Messenger.

UTA MAINTAINS SCRIPT SALE MOMENTUM
UTA sold three specs in June, the third month in a row that the talent agency sold that number of screenplays, reports Jason Scoggins in his latest Spec Market Roundup. This extends UTA’s half-year lead over 2nd place WME to four. New York-based BCDF Pictures, the producer behind VOD hit Bachelorette, is the single biggest buyer of the year so far. 

PEARL JAM GUITARIST TO SCORE SEATTLE MUSIC DOC
Director Mark Evans says he has secured Mike McCready to compose the original score for THE GLAMOUR & THE SQUALOR which charts the Seattle radio personality who helped launched the careers of so many seminal bands.

GLOVES ARE OFF FOR BOXING DRAMA
Stephen Greenwald, the financier who backed the original Conan The Barbarian while presiding over De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, is teaming up with Paula Landry to produce the newly-listed BARE KNUCKLE, THE STORY OF A BROOKLYN FIGHTER. 

CROWD FUELS FIRST DRAFT OF SCI-FI SEQUEL
Producer Tero Kaukomaa reports that his proposed $15 million follow-up to the cult comedy Iron Sky has reached its first crowdfunding stage, raising more than $180,000 for script and promo development using the IndieGoGo platform.

Duncan Cork on Google+

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