Santa Monica, CA, USA (May, 21, 2014) — Brent Lang reports in Variety on the joint venture:
“Imax will develop documentaries using a newly created $50 million fund, with the wide-screen company promising a series of films that will deal with such heady topics as globalization, technology and space, but with a sense of humor.
“’This is an opportunity to reset the tone of these movies — to make them a little edgier and hipper,’ said Greg Foster, chairman and president of Imax Entertainment. ‘We need to make movies that are a little bit more reflective of third graders today as opposed to third graders 25 years ago and that’s what these movies are about.’
“The wide-screen company plans to produce roughly two original films annually, with production on the first documentary expected to begin in the next six months. The films are being developed with an eye towards the 115 museums, science centers, aquariums and other institutional partners that have Imax screens. Foster said he thinks some of these films may end up showing in commercial theaters.
“The financial arm of the Knights of Columbus contributed an initial investment of $25 million, with the possibility of continuing beyond that level. For its part, Imax will contribute $9 million over five years. The rest of the funding will be in bank debt, which will be tapped if needed. The company said it will reinvest a portion of the its box office profits in the fund, with a goal of making it self-sustaining.
“Production decisions will be made by a greenlight committee that will be chaired by Foster. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization that is involved in educational and charitable initiatives, will have an advisory role, but the final decisions rest with the committee.”