Hennessee Group Vets Team With Film Fund

Jul 31 2007 | 9:11am ET

They want to be in pictures, or, at least, profit from them: Two alternative investment veterans best known for a hedge fund index have joined forces with a new film fund.

SandDollar Capital, a New York-based private equity consultant founded by Charles Gradante and E. Lee Hennessee of the Hennessee Group, has announced a strategic partnership with Barbarian Films. Under the terms of the multi-year deal, SandDollar will assist Barbarian in marketing its offerings to investors.

“We have seen consistent interest from individual investors, funds and institutions for non-correlated alternative investments,” SandDollar’s Gradante explains. “We see film investment as a logical solution however, for some time, were unable to find the right business model that would offer engaging returns while effectively managing the downside risks typically associated with film investment. Barbarian is the first film fund to capitalize on the inefficiencies in the current film market.”

Barbarian, which also recently struck a partnership deal with Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Endeavor Talent Agency, focuses on low-budget films—under $10 million—which are counting on foreign market sales for more than 80% of their total budget. It has also unveiled its first film investments, including Powder Blue, due next year and starring Jessica Biel, Ray Liotta and Forrest Whitaker.

“We have used our intimate relationships with consistently successful, award-winning producers to create a unique fund which is the first of its kind to approach lower budget film slates in a significant way,” said Aaron Kaufman, a managing member of Barbarian Films.

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