Creative Scotland – £500,000 kick start for viable Scottish film industry

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January 2012 sees the launch of The Mackendrick Film Fund, an innovative international film fund based in Scotland – aimed at making films with a Scottish emphasis, bringing film investors together to fill a ‘gap’ in the market for Scottish films.

Glasgow-based producer producer Claire Mundell, who identified the gap in the film finance market in late 2010 for a Scottish branded film fund, brought investors together to form Mackendrick.  The need for the fund has been intensified following the prominence of US feature films shooting in Scotland.

January 2012 sees the launch of The Mackendrick Film Fund, an innovative international film fund based in Scotland – aimed at making films with a Scottish emphasis, bringing film investors together to fill a ‘gap’ in the market for Scottish films.

Glasgow-based producer producer Claire Mundell, who identified the gap in the film finance market in late 2010 for a Scottish branded film fund, brought investors together to form Mackendrick.  The need for the fund has been intensified following the prominence of US feature films shooting in Scotland.

The Mackendrick Film Fund – named after Alexander Mackendrick, the Scottish-American director of The Ladykillers and Whisky Galore – is a partnership with the existing Aegis Film Fund Ltd, Chancery UK LLP & Prescience Film Finance and has just received a £500,000 cash boost from Creative Scotland, the first to invest.  The Creative Scotland money will add to the investment fund which will only be available to Scottish film producers. 

The Mackendrick Film Fund has a £35mn target and is seeking investment from companies and wealthy individual investors in Scotland and beyond. 

Caroline Parkinson, director of creative development at Creative Scotland, said: “This fund is a significant move and is vital for developing of the talent base here at the same time as building Scotland’s reputation as an attractive film destination bringing further economic and employment benefits.”

The Mackendrick Film Fund, the first finance vehicle of its kind in Scotland, is backed by Aegis Film Fund and Prescience Film Finance, and is looking to make successful movies by Scots or in Scotland with budgets of between £3m and £6m.

Mackendrick will benefit from the experience and success its partners bring to the table, who collectively have co-funded films such as the multiple Oscar winning The King’s Speech, Conviction, Horrid Henry 3D and The Guard.

Aegis was the largest single backer of Oscar winning film, The King’s Speech which cost only £9m to make and earned £45.7m at UK cinemas and £266m box offices worldwide – making it the highest-grossing independent British film of all time.

Scottish films aiming to replicate the commercial success of the independently British financed film The King’s Speech will be funded by the new multimillion pound finance company. 

Aegis and Prescience are very enthusiastic towards putting a Scottish emphasis on their existing film finance model to make a range of commercially viable films with strict financial criteria which will protect investors’ money.

Claire Mundell, who leads Mackendrick Capital Funders, aims to bring together film investors to put money into “international, commercially minded films with a demonstrable Scottish emphasis and key Scottish elements, such as location, cast or creative talent.”

Ms Mundel said: “We are pushing at an open door as the world wants to come to Scotland.  We have great talent, great crews, we have fantastic locations, but ultimately we need money, and hopefully the Mackendrick Fund can contribute to that.

“It’s about taking Scotland out to the film financing market and saying we have something to offer them.

“There are lots of high net worth individuals in Scotland, there are people that are passionate about Scotland who may want to try some form of film investment.

“The Mackendrick Film Fund can play a part in making Scotland an attractive global film destination.”

Peter Nichols, Founder of the Chancery Group, Chairman of Prescience & Partner Mackendrick Capital Partners said:

“This is an exciting development and I am delighted that Claire has brought together all the various partners in the Mackendrick Film Fund to help create a Scottish centric investment in film. The Fund will undoubtedly help nurture the development of the film industry in Scotland and add to the Scottish economy by bringing projects to life taking advantage of the technical skills, screen talent and locations there.

“The involvement of Creative Scotland in getting behind the film industry in Scotland is a very positive sign of commitment to strengthening the industry.”

The Mackendrick Fund is presently working on the investment to produce ‘Born To Be King’ a romantic comedy, starring star Ewan McGregor and Kate Hudson, and set to be directed by Peter Capaldi.  The film is due to shoot in June 2012.

The fund is currently targeting investors and is also looking for scripts and ideas for films which it hopes to have identified by the summer of this year.  Ms Mundell, Prescience director Paul Brett, and Carole Sheridan, former head of talent at Scottish Screen will consider and choose commercially viable film scripts.