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Cannes: Head Gear, Sparkhouse Form Joint Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/17/2017 Leo Barraclough
© Provided by Variety

London-based film-financing house Head Gear Films, which has backed movies like Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass,” has formed a joint venture with Sparkhouse Media, whose film “To the Bone” sold to Netflix for $8 million after competing in the Sundance Film Festival.

The pact will encompass development, production and finance on both film and TV projects. The companies will partner on projects across Sparkhouse’s slate, and will also co-finance and package third-party projects.

Head Gear has supported more than 30 film titles that are selling in this year’s Cannes market, and has been involved in more than 150 projects over the past three years, including “Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore, “Trespass Against Us,” starring Michael Fassbender, and “War on Everyone,” starring Alexander Skarsgard.

Sparkhouse is led by founder and president Karina Miller and CEO Talal AlAbbar, and has recently added Matt Morrow as senior VP of production and development. On the upcoming film “Semper Fi,” starring Sam Claflin, Sparkhouse is partnering with “Whiplash” producer David Lancaster of Rumble Films. The movie is being sold at Cannes by Cornerstone Films. Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone,” Sparkhouse’s first major movie, stars Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins. It will launch worldwide on Netflix on July 14.

“Ten years ago, I began looking to expand my business into L.A., which culminated recently in finding the right partners in Karina and Talal at Sparkhouse — people who have the same principles about life and business that I have: honesty and transparency, [who are] great at both creative aspects of the industry as well as business, and [have] a great sense of fun too,” Head Gear founder and CEO Phil Hunt said.

AlAbbar added: “Aside from the similar mindsets of both companies we are excited by the opportunity to further build upon our slate of quality packaged material, whilst at the same time further expanding our ability to become a one-stop shop production finance solution in this tough market.”

Miller added: “Head Gear Films and Sparkhouse Media are a perfect match as neither company is bound by traditional industry roles or aesthetics. We’re both doing things differently in order to stay mobile, flexible and available to our partners.”

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