Iconoclastic author Peter Greenaway’s first film since 2015 is due to be unveiled later this year, and when it hits the screen, the opening credits will feature a company that may not yet be known to festival-goers. But if everything goes according to their plan, it will be very soon.
The film fund of APX Capital Group was launched in October 2021 and is headquartered in New York. Although the company was founded less than a year ago, APX has already been very busy closing deals and partnerships, with the release of Greenaway’s Walking to Paris being the first of many. Earlier this year, they struck a deal with Mathew Knowles (father of Beyonce) and his Music World Entertainment Group to invest $275 million in Italian film and television co-productions. And just last month, the company announced a deal with Paula Linhares’ Cenya Productions to develop films for Latin America; Based in Brazil, APX’s Latin American division will invest $20 million annually over the next five years in co-productions from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
APX isn’t the only well-funded new film finance provider looking to break into multiple territories, but as Noam Baram, APX’s co-CEO and head of North American operations, states, “We have something very unique to offer.”
“On the one hand,” he explains, “we have our fund in partnership with [Gruppo] Generali, the largest 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 and also a post production facility. Except for animation, we can film everything over there. So we are on the one hand the investor and on the other hand the producer with all the facilities. This combination is extremely strong.”
In fact, these facilities represent a key element of APX’s business strategy: with Italian tax rebates granting up to 35% of production spend on filming in the country, APX can reap several benefits from setting up Italian co-productions in its own studio space.
Prior to APX, Baram spent most of his career in real estate development, with film production being his “hobby” – his first production, “I Am Woody”, won Best Short Film at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival. He handles the Americas for APX, while co-CEO Yona Wiesenthal (a veteran producer with credits like “Shtisel” and “The Gordin Cell”) focuses on Europe and Israel.
In addition to Greenaway’s Walking to Paris, APX has also been contracted to produce Roland Joffe’s L’Inverno, a war epic starring Klaus Maria Brandauer and Olivier Martinez. Baram says the company is also working on two comedy dramas as well as a film about Federico Fellini. Additionally, Baram says the company plans to announce a major project soon, which he will only describe as “a remake of one of the top five westerns of all time.”
Later this year, Baram says, APX also plans to launch a new film festival in October. Developed in partnership with iWoman TV founder Cathleen Trigg-Jones, the iWoman Film Festival will be held in New York and will feature only films that have a female director and a female producer. According to Baram, the grand prize winner will receive a $1 million credit at APX’s Italian facilities to spend “at their discretion.”
“Even today, there aren’t enough women directors, and sometimes you have to be on the right side of history,” explains Baram. The plan is to start small this year, with 20 films by international women filmmakers, and “if this festival is a success, then I want to start again next year on a much larger scale.”
Speaking of festivals, Baram says he was hoping to have Greenaway’s Walking to Paris ready to screen at Cannes, but the film – which started back in 2014 and then completed with the involvement of APX – is well on its way , after production around the duration of the festival. Fortunately, there is another option.
“This year in Venice there’s a whole sculpture festival around the film festival,” he says. “That’s perfect because Walking to Paris is about Constantin Brâncuși, a Romanian sculptor. So we plan to show it there out of competition.
https://variety.com/2022/film/features/apx-capital-group-film-production-1235267114/ APX Capital Group aims to be a one-stop shop for co-productions