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FilmHedge Closes $100 Million in Debt Financing to Lend for Movie, TV Production

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Source: Variety.com

Financial tech operation FilmHedge has closed on $100M in debt financing, Variety has learned.

The Atlanta-based company offers short-term loans for film, television and other media productions — as well as products that track production spending in real-time and automate performance reports for content investors. FilmHedge has helped fund 14 feature productions thus far, including the sci-fi thriller “Beyond Skyline” starring Frank Grillo.

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Private credit firm Coromandel Capital provided $50 million, as did another another undisclosed firm earlier this year. FilmHedge’s financial products determine the terms for loan offers using an algorithm, basing its model on the production finance plans and corporate agreements.

Coromandel Capital provides flexible, non-dilutive growth capital via senior secured lines of credit, and term loans to specialty finance and tech companies outside traditional traditional routes like banks.

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“Our mission at FilmHedge is to make media investing more efficient, faster, and more scalable. You can’t really do that if you’re a film fund, a bank, or a private equity shop. Those models require too many decision-makers to sign off on a deal, which means they are slow,” said Jon Gosier, FilmHedge’s founder and CEO. “This is why alternative lenders like Coromandel make great partners for us. We offer a tech-first, passive way for them to generate returns from an asset class they weren’t exposed to.”

Rob McGregor, co-founder and managing partner at Coromandel Capital, added that the partnership would address “the unmet financing needs within the film industry. The team has tremendous experience, robust and proprietary customer acquisition channels, as well as the savvy to effectively underwrite and mitigate risk.”

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Nollywood production house Nemsia Films announces the first commissioned slate deal with Amazon Prime Video

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Nollywood production house Nemsia Films has closed the first exclusive slate deal for three commissioned feature films with Amazon Prime Video, having already produced a successful repertoire of world-class content such as God Calling, Before 30, and Journey of an African Colony.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Nemsia Films on this pioneering slate deal, which will complement our growing lineup of local Nollywood content for Prime Video customers,” said Ayanna Lonian, director of Content Acquisition and head of Worldwide Major Studio Licensing Strategy, Prime Video. “This slate deal supports our goal to showcase Nollywood at its best, by telling authentic homegrown stories in a range of genres to Prime Video customers around the world.”

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“At Nemsia Films, it is our belief in ‘no gravity for the mind’ that has led us to work with Prime Video, one of the leading streaming services worldwide, capable of delivering our stories further than we ever imagined,” said Derin Adeyokunnu, co-founder of Nemsia Films. “We are tremendously excited about the collaboration and what the future holds for Nollywood.”

Nemsia films was co-founded by Derin Adeyokunnu and BB Sasore, with a strong belief in its ethos – “no gravity for the mind” – which, in addition to their major accomplishments, has seen them become a hub for developing young and emerging talent across every facet of Nollywood. Nemsia creates visuals that have pushed the envelope in African storytelling, from concept to delivery, with the entire production chain, including top-end visual effects and post-production, sitting in-house. Adeyokunnu serves as managing partner and executive producer and Sasore is the creative director, writer, and director of most of their work.

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The first feature in this deal will be Breath of Life, written and directed by BB Sasore and produced by Eku Edewor. Breath of Life tells an inspirational story about life and destiny where one must live to fulfill their purpose and cannot die until this is done. The other two films to come from the deal will be announced later this year.

About Prime Video

Prime Video offers customers thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including Amazon Original Series such as The Boys, The Wheel of Time, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Grand Tour and the upcoming highly anticipated series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as well as critically acclaimed Amazon Original movies like Coming 2 America, The Tomorrow War, and exclusive Nollywood movies such as Superstar, Progressive Tailors Club, Bad Comments, Badamasi and much more.

Along with Nemsia’s commissioning deal, Prime Video has previously announced exclusive licensing agreements with leading Nigerian production studios, including Inkblot Studios and Anthill Studios, which highlights a commitment by Prime Video to deliver Nigerian and African film to a global audience of more than 200 million Prime members.

Customers can stream or download and enjoy anytime, anywhere via the Prime Video app on mobile, tablet, Smart TVs, game consoles, or online at PrimeVideo.com. All available to watch as part of a Prime Video membership, which is available in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

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COVID-19 Rules Violation: Court Throws Out Suit Challenging Funke Akindele Others’ Conviction

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out a suit seeking to set aside the conviction of popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz and 236 others, who were prosecuted for violating the state’s lockdown in 2020.

Justice Akintayo Aluko held that the suit disclosed no reasonable cause of action and was also incompetent.

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Akindele and her husband were convicted on April 6, 2020, by the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Ogba, days after they held a crowded house birthday party contrary to Lagos State’s social distancing order.

But a Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, approached the court, challenging the constitutionality of the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 pursuant to which Akindele, her husband, and 236 other residents were convicted and sentenced.

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Joint respondents in the suit are the Lagos State Government, Attorney-General of Lagos State, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and the Inspector-General of Police.

Ogungbeje also sought, among others, an order compelling the Respondents jointly and severally to tender a public apology in three widely read newspaper publications to other persons/Nigerians arrested, arraigned, tried, convicted and sentenced.

But the Lagos State Government and the AG opposed the move through their counsel, a Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Adebayo Haroun.

They filed a notice of preliminary objection against the suit on July 10, 2020.

According to them, Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, 2004 allows the governor to make the regulations where the President of Nigeria had not made such regulations.

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They contended that the Regulation was made for public safety, public good, and protection which is larger and far greater than that of an individual such as the Applicant.

In his judgment delivered on June 2, 2022, a copy of which was obtained by Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele on Friday, the court agreed in part with the government.

Justice Aluko observed that the regulations disclosed in its preamble that the governor made the regulations by virtue of the powers conferred on him by the Lagos State Public Health Law of Lagos State, 2015 and in particular section 8 of the Quarantine Act and that Sections 8 provides that if regulations under section 4 of the Act was not made by the President, power to make such regulations may be exercised by the governor in respect of his state.

The judge held: “This means that the regulations made by the governor on the 27/3/2020 is valid within the context of section 8 of the Quarantine Act having been made at a time when the president had not made his own regulations. The Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations, 2020 is therefore subsidiary legislation validly made pursuant to section 8 of the Quarantine Act.

“Contrary to the argument of the Applicant, section 17 of the Regulations actually created certain offences ranging from failure to comply with a restriction order, prohibition, or doing anything contrary to the provisions of the Regulations.

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Section 17 (2) of the Regulations provides that any person who contravenes the provisions of the Regulations shall be liable under the Quarantine Act, Public Health Law of the State, and any other existing law to fine or imprisonment or both in accordance with the extant laws.

“It is of note that section 5 of the Quarantine Act provides for penalties or punishment against any person who contravenes provisions of the regulations made under the Act.”

While commending Ogungbeje for “seeking to protect citizens’ rights from violations”, the judge noted that the suit had “no support of the law.” Justice Aluko added: “In total, I hold that this suit has disclosed no reasonable cause of action against the Respondents.

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Tiger to Auction Pro Gear from Red Star Pictures

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Tiger Group is gearing up to auction surplus equipment from Red Star Pictures, a longstanding supplier of rental lighting, grip and production equipment to the entertainment and live event industry.

The June 2 online auction will feature gear surplus to the ongoing operations of Red Star and will include digital and film cameras, lenses, lighting, grip, electric, filters, and AV accessories. Equipment will be offered in more than 450 lots from top manufacturers including Arri, Black Magic, Canon, Moviecam, Panasonic, Rokinon Tiffen, Xeen, and Sony.

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Specifically, over 50 digital and movie cameras from Arri Alexa, Canon and Panasonic, as well as a large quantity of LED lighting from Arri, Kino and LTM will be up for bid. A variety of camera accessories, and grip and electric gear will be offered as well.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Red Star Pictures to assist in managing their surplus gear,” said Jonathan Holiday, director of business development, Tiger Commercial & Industrial. “Red Star has enjoyed exponential growth in building its rental business through acquisitions over the past five years and by offering a high level of service to all its valued customers in the industry. This sale offers an excellent mix of gear and a great opportunity to purchase from a well-established, quality rental company.”

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