June 18, 2009 - New York City gains a brand new film studio that will provide much needed production financing, distribution and P&A for fully developed films under $10million. DF Indie Studios opened in mid-town Manhattan at the Top of the Rock on June 15.
In the last two years, DF Indie Studios (DFIS) has developed a business model that is specifically designed to fulfill an industry need for both producers, talent and investors in this budget range. Accomplishments during that time include: $150 million in minimum distribution guarantees, a terrific slate of films ready to go from box office proven producing partners, an impressive veteran management team, and an advisory board that includes Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton.
DFIS co-founders Mary Dickinson (CEO) and Charlene Fisher (President and COO) said they chose to base the studio in New York City because of the incredible resources, talent and outreach that NYC and State have in place for film companies. In exchange, DFIS is planning to be an entertainment stimulus package by generating 10,000 – 15,000 jobs and millions of dollars in spending through 60-80 films over the next 5 years.
DF Indie Studio films will be produced by a team of established producers with successful box office track records including: This is that - Ted Hope & Anne Carey (Adventureland, In the Bedroom, 21 Grams, The Ice Storm, The Savages); Scott Free - Ridley & Tony Scott’s shingle (Gladiator, Pelham 123, Thelma & Louise, American Gangster); Jennifer Fox (Michael Clayton, Good Night and Good Luck, Duplicity, Syriana); and RedBone Films whose co-founder, Samara Koffler, ran Harrison Ford’s production company for eight years.
Ted Hope and Anne Carey pointed out, “We have been working with the DF Indie Studios team for over a year now to make sure their model is designed to help their producers create great films.”
A key component to the DFIS plan is to provide producing partners with what they need to succeed. Indie film distribution veteran Ira Deutchman said, “I have spent the last year consulting DFIS on developing a unique and effective distribution division to ensure guaranteed US domestic distribution as well as an impressive Canadian output deal for all our films. We worked with foreign sales expert Glen Basner from FilmNation on that deal and he has introduced us to several other countries to discuss similar output deals.
Finally, the DFIS plan was designed specifically to provide equity investors with the greatest possible opportunity for solid returns. David Spieler – an investor and advisory board member – explained, “DFIS offers its equity investors an unprecedented opportunity in this space by providing an unlevered business model with 105% production of downside risk and guaranteed North American distribution for all DFIS films. And best of all, equity investors will share in all revenue streams of the studio including distribution fees and any exit.”