CATALYST GLOBAL MEDIA TAKES FLIGHT
New Hybrid Finance, Production, and Development Company is Founded and Led by Charlotte Walls, Al Hardiman and Gideon Lyons
Company to Produce Two Best-Selling Novels
“Pomegranate Soup” and “Genus” as First Feature Projects
London, England – May 1, 2015 — A major new player in the world of independent film and TV development, finance, production and sales has emerged out of London as established producer Charlotte Walls has launched the hybrid-modelled production and finance outfit Catalyst Global Media Ltd. (CGM).
Catalyst is a multifaceted film and television financing and production company making high-end, mainstream films and TV series for the global marketplace. Seasoned entertainment executive and former Matador Pictures producer Charlotte Walls is co-founder of Catalyst and will run the company as its CEO. Al Hardiman and Gideon Lyons are co-founders with Walls and serve as principal partners. Catalyst operates with a mandate to serve as a top-tier supplier of commercially viable projects for the studios, networks, digital platforms and major independent distributors worldwide.
Backed by private equity sources out of London, there are no set restrictions on how or where the company allocates capital, which allows for maximum flexibility in sourcing projects and material and collaborating with various partners to build a diverse slate. CGM will develop/finance/produce four to six projects a year across feature films and digital/television series. Budget ranges will vary depending on the size and scope of the individual projects.
Since 2006, the founders have successfully launched a series of EIS companies engaged in feature film and television development and international sales, each of which will now be advised by Catalyst. Said Walls, “We are launching Catalyst with a dedicated production finance specialism and as such we will advise a number of EIS companies engaged in the business of international sales for feature films and television as well as funding the development of original film and television projects.”
Devoted to fostering an artist-friendly environment for top filmmakers, show runners and talent, the company will focus on creating and financing original content across the media of film, television and music, with plans to launch into the indie-gaming market within the next 18 months.
Walls continued, “At our core we seek to nurture and champion creative talent and find ourselves taking creative risks and pushing boundaries as a matter of course. Content, in all forms, is increasing in value around the world. Whether exploiting original stories, developing an epic franchise, or adapting/reimagining classic works, the strategically vetted approach to financing new films and properties is appealing to us. We’re aligning high quality content with funding and business execution in a way that can maximize the exploitation and commercialization of that content for the content owners, distributors, investors and Catalyst alike.”
Catalyst has wasted no time identifying the best developed material for their first feature film projects. Two best-selling novels “Pomegranate Soup,” and “Genus,” will be the company’s first film productions.
“Pomegranate Soup” is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by the late Iranian novelist Marsha Mehran. The film is being adapted by Academy Award® nominated Irish writer Kirsten Sheridan, who is also attached to direct.
“Pomegranate Soup” is a charming and feel-good story about three beguiling Iranian sisters who through a twist of fate find themselves moving to a quirky Irish village and face the challenge of winning over the locals by opening a Persian-inspired delicatessen and café. This is a heart-warming tale of family, friendship and romance.
“Genus” is a gripping and action-packed sci-fi thriller based on the acclaimed novel by Jonathan Trigell (writer of “Boy A,” dramatized by Film Four and The Weinstein Co. and recipient of four BAFTA Awards).
The film is being adapted for the screen by Mike Carey, the award-winning novelist, graphic-novelist and screenwriter who is best known for the graphic novels Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men: Legacy.
In the not-so-distant future, genetic selection and physical perfection are the norm – all the qualities men and women aspire to can be purchased prior to birth, and those financially unable to ‘self-improve’ are ostracized as an underclass in London’s King’s Cross (The Kross). When a series of disturbing murders shakes the Kross, the unorthodox Detective Gunt is assigned to the case. As tensions mount between the improved and the unimproved, Gunt is running out of time. But as he gets closer to the truth and uncovers a larger conspiracy, he will come to question everything he’s ever known to be true.
Both films will go into production within the next year.
CGM will provide funding, services, expertise, development and commercialization platforms to third parties as well as its own content. Distribution can be handled via traditional routes yet the company is poised to embrace new models and will identify and exploit emerging and non-traditional, non-linear channels through new media, new technology and new commercial relationships representing alternative routes to the consumer market.
About the Catalyst Global Media Executive Team:
Charlotte Walls, Co-Founder & CEO
Charlotte Walls has produced or executive produced over 20 motion pictures to date that have attracted major international deals with distributors including Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Sony Entertainment, Warner Bros., Entertainment Film Distributors and the BBC. Charlotte co-founded Catalyst with an original development and production slate in place, featuring strong above-the-line talent attachments including Academy Award® nominated and Brit List-featured writers, best-selling international novelists, and strong emerging directing talents. Most recently Charlotte produced and financed the television show “Residue” starring Natalia Tena and Iwan Rheon (“Game of Thrones”) which was acquired by Netflix.
Al Hardiman, Co-Founder & President, Music Division
Al Hardiman is a classically-trained professional multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and songwriter. He has recorded and toured with artists for Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI, Island Records, and indie labels Ninja Tune, Tru Thoughts and Rough Trade for various artists including Radiohead, Florence Welch, Bonobo, The Who and Sixto Rodriguez. His introduction to film came via providing music arrangements for director Richard Eyre for his Academy Award® nominated film “Notes On A Scandal.” Since that time Al has composed viral short form and commercial content for brands including the Coca-Cola Company, feature films and a Netflix-distributed TV series before co-founding Catalyst Global Media and starting up the company’s music publishing arm with a remit to finance and produce music for film and television.
Gideon Lyons, Co-Founder
Gideon Lyons is a founding shareholder of Catalyst whose focus is the financial structure of the business and its investments. Gideon is an entrepreneur and director of Regent Capital PLC, a boutique finance company that creates investments tailored to UK resident high net worth individuals. Since 2006 Regent Capital PLC have successfully launched a series of EIS businesses engaged in feature film and television development and international sales, each of which is now advised by Catalyst Global Media.
Anna Josse, Non-Executive Director
Anna Josse serves as non-executive director and member of the Board of Catalyst as well as being the co-director of Regent Capital PLC with expertise in relationship management and building operations. Anna is also the founder of Prism the Gift Fund, a charity which administers philathropic giving by high net worth individuals utilising their own donor advised funds as well as managing a number of grant making foundations. Anna also sits on the boards of a number of international charities.
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Indirect assistance is provided by the UK government to film, among many other sectors, in the form of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) and the more recently established Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”). These are tax incentives provided to UK tax payers to encourage them to invest in the production, and subsequent exploitation of a film.
EIS and SEIS were established by the government in 1997 and 2012 respectively and are tax incentives provided to UK tax payers to encourage them to subscribe for new share capital in UK companies that carry on qualifying trades. The production of a film and subsequent exploitation of that film is a qualifying trade for EIS and SEIS purposes.
SEIS is designed for a small fundraising by a UK company of up £150,000 while EIS can be used by a UK company on larger fundraisings of up to £5m.
Subject to the relevant conditions being met by both the company and individual investors, among other tax benefits to the investors, and income tax reduction of up to 50% of the amount subscribed for shares can be received by qualifying individuals under the SEIS incentive and 30% of the amount subscribed under the EIS incentive.
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