L-R: Simon Williams, Jonathan Bross, Joe Simpson, and Joe Jenckes
A trio of veteran film financiers and producers are launching a new venture.
Joe Simpson, Simon Williams and Jonathan Bross are teaming up on Ashland Hill Media Finance, a film and TV financing venture, backed by an alternative investment fund with assets under management of $1.85 billion. From its offices in Santa Monica and London, Ashland Hill expects to close upwards of 25 deals in the next 12 months, with plans to further expand its operations beyond the U.S. and U.K. later this year. The company will also acquire rights and package projects for its own production pipeline.
“We are the new and much-needed source of reliable, flexible and speedy financing for the film and TV markets,” Simpson said. “We help the producers, filmmakers and storytellers of the world turn their visions into reality.”
The initial slate of Ashland Hill-financed films includes: Philip Noyce’s action-thriller “Fast Charlie” starring Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin and James Caan, which just wrapped principal photography in Louisiana and is represented at Cannes by Foresight Unlimited.
In addition, the company has also backed the tech thriller “57 Seconds,” directed by Rusty Cundieff, starring Josh Hutcherson and Morgan Freeman, which will be represented by Highland Film Group. It is also financing Marcus Adams’ shark thriller “Deep Fear,” starring Mãdãlina Ghenea and Ed Westwick. The movie recently wrapped in Malta with Brilliant Pictures handling sales.
Williams promised that “we are experienced, efficient and we get sensible deals done on time.”
With Bross adding: “We’re constructive, creative problem-solvers who plan to build long-term relationships through trust, integrity and mutual respect. We intend to grow quickly.”
As its first hire, the group tapped award-winning producer Joe Jenckes as senior vice president of production. Among his numerous credits, Jenckes is best-known for his work on the Oscar-nominated financial thriller “Margin Call.” Other credits include the Daniel Radcliffe drama “Kill Your Darlings” and Amazon Studios’s 2021 true-crime series “Between Black and Blue.”
For the past nine years, Williams served as investment director at a U.K.-based investment management company and served as executive producer on over 45 films. During his tenure he was involved in closing investments of over $750 million.
Bross has three decades of experience in private debt, film finance and film production. In 2017, he founded Argonaut Entertainment Partners in the U.S.
Simpson is a film financier and producer who, over the past three years, has managed investments in over 25 films with combined budgets exceeding $350 million. His recent credits include “Honest Thief” starring Liam Neeson and “SAS: Red Notice” starring Sam Heughan and Ruby Rose. Prior roles include a stint as vice president of strategic marketing at MGM.
Variety's Brett Lang contributed to this post.