After a hugely successful career in the resource sector, mine financier Robert Friedland is venturing in the movie business.
Based in Singapore, Friedland is teaming up with producer John Penotti, and Beijing-based media veteran Ray Chen to form Ivanhoe Pictures, a motion picture and television financing and production company.
Friedland is already a household name in the global mining sector. In the last 25 years, he has funded huge mineral discoveries in Labrador, Canada, Mongolia and now Africa, via companies such as Diamond Fields and lately Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.
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Backed by his family firm Ivanhoe Capital Corp., Ivanhoe Pictures will finance and produce film and television projects that have broad appeal to a global audience, Ivanhoe Pictures said in a release. Initially, it will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia, focusing on China, India, Korea and Japan.
Beyond that, the company will pursue English and local language films in a variety of global markets.
The company will be based in Hollywood, California, with offices in Beijing and New York. Friedland is Chairman of the new company, Penotti is CEO and President. Chen is executive vice-president.
“My long-held love of film and storytelling is a natural complement to the vision shared by John Penotti and Ray Chen,’’ Friedland said in a statement.
“With the depths of their professional experience and guidance, Ivanhoe Pictures will be at the forefront of a thriving international film production and distribution marketplace. We will leverage Ivanhoe Capital’s resources in support of this exciting, new creative endeavour.’’
Friedland is not the first mining mogul with Canadian connections to dabble in the movie business. More than a decade ago, Vancouver-based miner financier Frank Giustra made a similar move, via Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.
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