Iconoclastic auteur Peter Greenaway’s first film since 2015 is set to premiere later this year, and when it hits screens, the opening credits will feature a company that may not yet be familiar to festival-goers. But if all goes according to their plan, it will be very soon.
APX Capital Group’s film fund launched in October 2021, with headquarters in New York. Although the company was founded less than a year ago, APX has already been very busy setting up deals and partnerships, with the release of Greenaway’s “Walking to Paris” set to premiere. a long series. Earlier this year, they struck a deal with Mathew Knowles (Beyonce’s father) and his Music World Entertainment Group to invest $275 million in Italian film and TV co-productions. And last month, the company announced a pact with Paula Linhares’ Cenya Productions to develop films for Latin America; Centered in Brazil, APX’s Latin American division will invest $20 million a year for the next five years in co-productions from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
APX isn’t the only big-money new film funder looking to make a splash in multiple territories, but as Noam Baram, APX’s co-CEO and head of North American operations, notes, “We have some something very unique to offer”.
“On the one hand,” he explains, “we have our fund, in partnership with [Gruppo] Generali, which is the biggest insurance company in Italy and probably in Europe. Of course, many people have [a fund]. But we also have production facilities in Italy, and our facilities in Italy include the second largest studio in Italy, with 12 stages, as well as a post-production facility. Except for the animation, you can film everything there. We are therefore the investor on one side and the producer with all the facilities on the other. This combination is extremely strong.
Indeed, these facilities represent a key element of APX’s commercial strategy: with Italian tax breaks offering up to 35% of production expenses for filming inside the country, APX can derive multiple advantages from implementation of Italian co-productions in its own studio.
Prior to APX, Baram spent most of his career in real estate development, with producing films as a “hobby” – his debut production, “I Am Woody,” won Best Short Film at New York Independent Film and Video Festival. He handles North and South America for APX, while co-CEO Yona Wiesenthal (a veteran producer with credits such as “Shtisel” and “The Gordin Cell”) focuses on Europe and Israel.
In addition to Greenaway’s “Walking to Paris,” APX has also set up a deal to produce Roland Joffe’s “L’Inverno,” a war epic with Klaus Maria Brandauer and Olivier Martinez starring. Baram says the company is also in development on two comedy-dramas as well as a film about Federico Fellini. Additionally, Baram says the company plans to announce a major project soon that he will only describe as “a remake of one of the top five westerns of all time.”
Later this year, Baram said APX also plans to soft-launch a new film festival in October. Developed in partnership with Cathleen Trigg-Jones, founder of iWoman TV, the iWoman Film Festival will take place in New York and will exclusively screen films that can boast of having a director and a producer. Baram says the first winner will receive a $1 million credit at APX’s Italian facilities to spend “however they see fit.”
“Even today, there are not enough female directors, and sometimes you have to be on the right side of history,” Baram explains. The plan is to start small this year, with 20 films from international female directors, and “if this festival is a success, then what I want to do is relaunch it next year on a much bigger scale”.
Speaking of festivals, Baram says he had hoped Greenaway’s “Walking to Paris” would be ready to premiere at Cannes, but the film – started in 2014, then completed with APX’s participation – is about to go. end post-production just when the festival is underway. Fortunately, there is another option.
“This year, there is a whole sculpture festival that will take place in Venice around the film festival,” he says. “Which is perfect, because ‘Walking to Paris’ is about Constantin Brâncuși, who was a Romanian sculptor. So we plan to show it there out of competition.