The first project developed under this initiative is the Josephine DeckerBased on Karen Russell’s bestselling 2011 Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel wetlands!
Decker is known for her selections at the Berlinale and Sundance Film Festivals feature Madeleine’s Madeleine (2013) and Shirley (2020) and the recently released the sky is everywhere Compatible with Apple TV+ and A24.
Set in Southwest Florida, Russell’s story follows 13-year-old Ava Bigtree, who leaves her family’s Everglades theme park in hopes of keeping the family together after her mother falls ill.
Development of this feature is in progress.
The new fund is the first collaboration between two like-minded companies to cover development costs for feature films and create opportunities for co-financing projects.
The partnership will allow Glen Basner’s FilmNation to further expand its strategy of acquiring early, high-profile development assets. At the same time, it will also broaden the film footprint of Ara Keshishian and Petr Jakl’s upstart development and production company ZQ Entertainment in the global market.
All projects will be funded from FilmNation’s existing credit facilities and will provide the company’s production and financing arms with additional resources to expand its award-winning slate. The partners did not disclose the size of the fund.
FilmNation is currently producing an Edward Berger film in Rome secret meeting Starring Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow and Isabella Rossellini.The company also recently completed production of Christos Nikou nailstarring Jessie Buckley and Riz Ahmed, for Apple TV+.
Other forthcoming works include Rightor Doyle’s down lowstarring Zachary Quinto and Lukas Gage, and Tayarisha Poe’s sophomore feature film young wife, starring Kiersey Clemons and Leon Bridges. Both films will have their world premieres at SXSW next month.
Keshishian and Jakl’s ZQ Entertainment have announced two high-profile films ahead of the European Film Market: Kingdom of GodProduced with Matt Reeves’ 6th & Idaho, and lockingstarring Glenn Powell and Anthony Hopkins, and produced by Sam Raimi.
Additionally, the company is developing an adaptation of John Grisham’s novel with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures Calico Joe and adapted by Stephen King from his short story obituary.
The company is also working with Timur Bekmambetov on a series of films written by Stan Lee, and black cotton star Directed by Reginald Hudlin.
“We are very excited to expand our collaboration with our friend and trusted partner at ZQ Entertainment and expand our film lineup with an ambitious portfolio of new projects,” said Milan Popelka, Chief Operating Officer of FilmNation.
“FilmNation has set the standard for pedigree, taste and making great films for the global market,” said Jakl.
“We are excited to be working with their entire team to continue developing the project at the highest level,” Keshishian added.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of ZQ Entertainment by CEO Keshishian and CAA, along with FilmNation’s COO Milan Popelka and general counsel Alison Cohen.