Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
International financier Robert Friedland, producer John Penotti and Beijing-based media veteran Ray Chen have launched Ivanhoe Pictures, a motion picture and television financing and production company.
Ivanhoe Pictures will finance and produce film and television projects that have broad appeal to a global audience. Initially, the company 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.
Ivanhoe Pictures will be based in Hollywood, California, with offices in Beijing and New York. Mr. Friedland is Chairman of the new company, Mr. Penotti is Chief Executive Officer and President and Mr. Chen is Executive Vice President.
Mr. Friedland is recognized in the business worlds of finance, venture capital and mineral resources. Through his principal interests, held through Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, Mr. Friedland has participated in financing a broad range of initiatives in more than 50 countries during the past 25 years. He was an initial, key investor in Sina.com, the largest Chinese-language online infotainment web portal. Ivanhoe provided the founding venture capital for U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio, which went on to build SiriusXM into the world's most successful digital satellite radio service.
Mr. Friedland remarked, "My long-held love of film and storytelling is a natural complement to the vision shared by John Penotti and Ray Chen. 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."
After two decades as the President and co-founder of New York-based GreeneStreet Films, John Penotti will transition to the new company with his relocation to Los Angeles. At GreeneStreet, Mr. Penotti produced more than 30 films, including the Oscar-nominated film IN THE BEDROOM, Robert Altman's A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, UPTOWN GIRLS, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, SWIMFAN and ROMANCE & CIGARETTES.
"I could not be more thrilled that this new venture has come together. Robert's enthusiasm and support will allow us to quickly establish a unique and robust development and production slate," said Mr. Penotti.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to find and nurture the best talent and projects worldwide. Together with Ray's extensive experience and long-standing relationships within Greater Asia, and our infrastructure globally, we are elated to offer Ivanhoe Pictures as a new finance and production destination."
Ray Chen, Beijing born, previously served as founder and Chairman of Beijing Premiere Media Company, a reality content and international production company based in China. Prior to that, he was a television producer for China Central Television (CCTV).
"It's a wonderful time to launch Ivanhoe Pictures," said Mr. Chen. "In Asia, the film industry continues to grow exponentially and presents compelling opportunities for the best writing, directing and acting talent in the world. Good stories are global-not culturally specific-and we are proud to be part of this venture."