Will Ivanhoe Mines’ Robert Friedland match Frank Giustra’s success as a producer/film distributor?
RENO (MINEWEB) – After losing control of his Ivanhoe Mines to Rio Tinto, billionaire Robert Friedland is rebounding with a non-mining venture, Ivanhoe Pictures, a motion picture and television financing and production company.
Announced at Toronto’s Film Festival, Ivanhoe Pictures has been launched by Friedland, Greene Street President and Co-Founder John Penotti, and Ray Chen, founder and chairman of Beijing Premiere Media Company. Initially, the company will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia with a focus on China, India, Korea and Japan. The company will also pursue English and local language films in a number of global markets.
Friedland will serve as chairman of the company, Penotti as CEO, and Chen as executive vice president.
Through Ivanhoe Capital, Friedland was a key investor in Sina.com, the largest Chinese Chinese-language online infotainment web portal. Ivanhoe also provided the founding venture capital for U.S.-based Sirus Satellite Radio, which has evolved into SiriusXM radio.
Long a player in the New York City film community, Penotti produced more than 30 films at his GreenStreet films including the Oscar nominated film, “In the Bedroom.” “Robert’s enthusiasm and support will allow us to quickly establish a unique and robust development and production slate,” said Penotti.
“My long-held love and storytelling is a natural complement to the vision shared by John Penotti and Ray Chen,” said Friedland. 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 endeavor.”
“It is a wonderful time to launch Ivanhoe Pictures,” said 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.”
TWO MINING MOVIE MOGULS?
Friedland is not the only mining financier to go into the entertainment business. Frank Giustra, the president and CEO of Fiore Financial, headed equity investment of more than $3 billion in the international resource sector as chairman and CEO of Yorkton Securities in the 1990s.
Ironically, Giustra also helped to finance several of Friedland’s early endeavors in the 1980s and 1990s including Diamond Fields. One of Giustra’s early successes was Wheaton River Minerals, now Goldcorp.
Prior to his success in resource industries, Giustra founded Lionsgate Entertainment in Vancouver in 1997 and left the company in 2003. Among his successes was the 1982 cult film Blade Runner and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Later, Giustra would become a major investor in Thunderbird Films, which airs its television programming around the globe. In March 2012, he launched a new joint venture with Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films called Sea to Sky Entertainment, which focuses on television and cable projects.
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