Three years after it unveiled a $20 million venture capital fund aimed at bolstering film and TV series, Chile-based Screen Capital has introduced a second investment fund, Screen II, which will support projects in the digital entertainment arena: Video games, Virtual Reality, OTT platforms, Extended Reality (XR), apps etc.
Screen Capital is co-founded by former Chile Film Commissioner Joyce Zylberberg and Tatiana Emden, who once headed Chile’s Development Fund, and has among its key partners, Edgar Spielmann, ex-VP and COO of Fox Networks Group Latin America.
The Screen II investment fund is backed by a mix of public and private sector investors, the latter led by Mexican producer Alex Garcia of AG Studios, who has invested in a slew of film, TV, music and tech projects in the past years.
“It was a natural step for me given all that I have worked on in the past,” he told Variety. “The digital space is the today and tomorrow of content. The analogue world is on the wane and will eventually only serve as a marketing tool for the digital space,” he added.
Screen II kicks off in March with the objective of investing in an average of 10 companies, said Zylberberg. The new fund is shored up by reports of record growth in the digital entertainment space.
According to a study by the Interamerican Development Bank, Latin America and the Caribbean have some 397 million videogame players, 80% of which are concentrated in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela.
“Our region ranks second with the highest increase in the industry, with an annual growth rate of 13.56 % comparable with the increase in data processing services in the United States,” it reads.
Price Waterhouse Coopers report ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018-2022’ forecasts an average annual growth of more than 40% in the virtual reality field and close to 10% for digital content distributed on streaming platforms.
Meanwhile, Screen I, backed by a group of investors led by NonStop TV president Patricio Rabuffetti and Ralph Haiek, chairman of the Screen One Investment Committee, has identified companies with proven track records and viable film and TV series to back. “We’re restarting the fund which wasn’t easy as we were caught by the pandemic at a time when most production stopped,” Zylberberg told Variety.
Helping to drive Screen I’s pipeline are StoryA, an audiovisual content accelerator created by Screen I and Condeco Corp, founded by Angel Zambrano who participates on Jan. 25 in Content Americas panel ‘New Investment Funds in Latin America’ along with Spielmann and BTF Media Founder-CEO, Francisco Cordero.
StoryA’s mission is to seek out and select audiovisual projects, bridging the gap between independent producers and the main players in the industry.
Also feeding into the slate is Fabula Screen, a strategic alliance between Screen One and the Larrain brothers’ powerhouse Chilean production company, Fabula, for the production of movies and series. The first film to be released is “Maquillame Otra Vez,” directed by Chile’s Guillermo Calderón for the Mexican market, to be released by exhibition leader Cinepolis in more than 600 screens.
Screen One has also partnered with prominent Latin American producers Moises Chiver and Paula Manzanedo for the production of “Memory,” a feature film directed by producer-helmer Michel Franco (“New Order”) and starring Jessica Chastain.
“We have a fourth strategic line with producers from Argentina, among them NonStop where we will partner mainly on the creative side,” said Emden.