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Ben Affleck And Matt Damon Launch Production Company With RedBird Capital’s Gerry Cardinale

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As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported back in June of this year, Redbird Capital Partners has today confirmed details in that story. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Gerry Cardinale are launching an artist-led studio that partners with filmmakers to empower creative vision and broaden access to profit participation.

The new studio, Artists Equity, will seek to create “entrepreneurial partnerships” with filmmakers.

Terms were not disclosed. RedBird Capital is making what’s termed “a significant financial commitment in launching the company, providing strategic capital and operational expertise to accelerate its development and production pipeline.

Affleck and Damon combined have generated more than $10.7 billion in worldwide box office sales, 110+ feature films as star or costar, six produced screenplays, eight TV series as executive producer or writer, and earned three Academy Awards. They will lead the company.

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Artists Equity is an intellectual property monetization platform anchored by three core principles, the announcment stated:

• Broaden Access to Profit Participation: Provide performance-based incentives to creators and crew that allow all participants in the prodution value chain to share in profits;
• Fuel IP Monetization Through Creator Partnerships: Focus on partnering with both established and emerging filmmakers who want to work in a talent-friendly environment with management that understands and supports their creative vision;
• Leverage a Data-Driven Approach to Distribution: Utilize insights derived from proprietary databases to better inform decision-making around distribution strategy, optimizing reach and valuation of content.

Artists Equity’s first project will feature Affleck as the director and star Damon and a cast including Affleck in the true story behind the creation of the iconic Air Jordan brand, which is slated for release in 2023 in partnership with Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, and Mandalay Pictures.

The company anticipates releasing three projects in 2023, with plans to scale and release a minimum of five projects per year in the future.

“Artists Equity was conceived from Matt’s and my longtime passion for the art of storytelling and our shared desire to help creators deliver on their vision, as we have been fortunate to do throughout our careers,” said Affleck, who will hold the title chief executive officer. “The entertainment industry is defined by great partnerships – writers, directors, producers, crew, actors – and throughout my career I have learned that collaboration is what drives success. Our goal with Artists Equity is to build a creatorfocused studio that can optimize the production process with shared participation in the commercial success of projects. We are thrilled to partner with Gerry Cardinale and the RedBird team, who have a long track record of building notable scaled platform businesses around unique IP. Matt and I are looking forward to working together to empower the current and future creative minds in the entertainment industry.”

“Historically, the success of a film was based on its box office performance. Now, with the rise of streaming, the business behind filmmaking has intrinsically changed. However, Ben and I know that the power will continue to be in the hands of the creators, no matter which direction the industry evolves,” said Damon, who will be chief content officer. “Artists Equity enables these visionaries to take ownership of their creative power, providing a platform for both established and emerging
filmmakers to streamline the development of their content. Ben and I are lucky to have worked with some of the best in the business, and our partnership with Gerry Cardinale and the team at RedBird continues us on that trajectory as we look to innovate and empower through the Artists Equity platform.”

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“Ben and Matt are two of the most talented entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry, and now we can add founders to their long list of accomplishments,” added Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital. “The investment thesis behind Artists Equity is consistent with RedBird’s track record in backing proven founders and entrepreneurs with scalable solutions-based capital to create innovative intellectual property monetization platforms. Over the last 20 years since Ben, Matt and I first met, we have participated in the evolution of content monetization in our respective careers, culminating most recently in the streaming phenomenon and its current evolution from volume to quality. Artists Equity is an independently capitalized studio that will enable content creators to navigate this evolving landscape and maximize value for their visionary storytelling. The premium today is shifting more towards quality which plays extremely well to Ben and Matt’s track record as filmmakers across writing, directing, producing and acting. Under their curation, Artists Equity will deliver projects that meet the growing demand for critically acclaimed content while also enabling broader profit participation throughout the production value chain.”

Artists Equity will be headquartered in Los Angeles and led by Affleck, Damon and chief operating officer Michael Joe, the former COO of STX Films and former EVP at Universal Pictures.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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