In an expansive new move towards production, London-based Protagonist Pictures is teaming up with Mogambo of Madrid, executive producers of “1917”, for a multi-year, multi-title strategic production partnership.
Announced on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival, the deal sees the two companies team up to finance, co-produce and sell up to five films a year, protagonist CEO Dave Bishop and CCO George Hamilton announced, alongside of the founders of Mogambo, Ignacio Salazar-Simpson and Ricardo. Marco Bude.
They added in a statement that the partnership will focus on jointly greenlighting titles from high-profile third-party filmmakers with budgets ranging from $5 million to $25 million, as well as strategic co-productions and development..
Negotiated by Mogambo Chief Legal Officer Carlos Segovia and Protagonist Chief Operating Officer James Pugh, Hamilton and Head of Acquisitions Luane Gauer, the alliance is another building block for the two companies as they seek to leverage leveraged co-production to create larger, more ambitious film productions.
They can also bring the muscle of Protagonist Pictures to the table as a top European sales company. This influence can also facilitate the efforts of companies to attract the best talents, who always seek to make films with the budget required by their artistic ambition.
“Together, the two companies will be able to offer film financing, production and sales in Europe, the United States and beyond,” Protagonist Pictures and Mogambo said in a joint statement on Monday.
Mogambo will serve as producers on all the projects they invest in, whether in full or in co-financing. Protagonist will produce and manage worldwide sales of all titles in the partnership, they added.
Ahead of the Cannes Virtual Market last year, Protagonist Pictures and Germany’s Augenschein Sales announced a global sales partnership on select films from Augenschein’s English-language slate. As part of a refocusing of the company, the Mogambo agreement takes this structure to another level. He plays on the two companies’ partnership on Nora Fingscheidt’s “The Outrun,” starring Saoirse Ronan, which is also co-produced by Germany’s top team Weydemann Bros.
“Bishop has ushered the company into a new progressive era. Protagonist has expanded far beyond the traditional method of financing films through pre-sales to also include executive production, co-production and development,” the same statement explained. “As a result of this strategic shift, partnerships with key production and finance companies like Mogambo have become a central focus for Protagonist and are a core part of the company’s expanded role,” he added.
For Salazar-Simpson and Budé, partnership is also a meeting of like minds. “Following frequent discussions with Luane over the past year, we have come to greatly admire and respect her impeccable creative taste and business acumen, which we were delighted to find resonating throughout the Protagonist team” , they said.
“We discovered that a shared creative and business vision, underpinned by a passion for filmmakers, is at the very core of Mogambo and Protagonist’s DNA. Together, we are excited to build projects with top filmmakers to create high-profile, bold films for global audiences.
“As Protagonist’s evolution continues apace and we continue to grow our funding and production businesses, a partner like Mogambo is the perfect fit,” added Hamilton. “As producers and financiers, Mogambo brings both the creative strength and the financial muscle to allow us to work with filmmakers to produce films within a significant budget range.
Launched in 2014 by Salazar-Simpson and finance expert Budé, Mogambo took executive producer credit on Sam Mendes’ “1917,” produced Alex de la Iglesia’s “Veneciafrenia” with his Pokeepsie label, and took an associate producer credit on “Pain and Glory.” He also has a string line in mainstream comedies, supporting the smash hits “Father There Is Only One,” “Undercover Wedding Crashers” and “The Perfect Family.”
An institution on the British film scene, Protagonist will land in Cannes with its latest sales list, which takes over the New York comedy “Artist in Residence” by Raymond De Felitta, with Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia and Josh Hutcherson; the romantic comedy “She Came to Me” by Rebecca Miller, with Anne Hathaway, Marisa Tomei and Joanna Kulig; Maximilian Erlenwein’s underwater thriller “The Dive”; Directors’ Fortnight title ‘Enys Men’, Mark Jenkin’s long-awaited sequel to BAFTA winner Outstanding Debut ‘Bait’; and the Un Certain Regard, Pine Ridge Reservation-set entry “War Pony,” Riley Keough and Gina Gammell’s feature debut.