Ivanhoe Pictures Launches With Focus on Asian Markets

Financier Robert Friedland, producer John Penotti and Beijing’s Ray Chen team on film and TV production venture

International financier Robert Friedland, producer John Penotti and Beijing-based media veteran Ray Chen have launched Ivanhoe Pictures, a motion picture and television financing and production company.

Ivanhoe Pictures will finance and produce film and television projects intended to have broad appeal to a global audience, the company said in a release Sunday.

Initially, the company will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia, focusing on China, India, Korea and Japan. Beyond that, the company will pursue English and local language films in a variety of global markets.

Ivanhoe Pictures will be based in Hollywood, with offices in Beijing and New York.

Friedland (photo above) will be chairman of the new company, Penotti chief executive and president Chen will be the executive vice-president.

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Through his principal interests, held through Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, Friedland has helped finance a broad range of initiatives in more than 50 countries during the past 25 years. Among other things, Ivanhoe provided the founding venture capital for U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio.

“My long-held love of film and storytelling is a natural complement to the vision shared by John Penotti and Ray Chen,” he said in a statement. “With the depths of their professional experience and guidance, Ivanhoe Pictures will be at the forefront of a thriving international film production and distribution marketplace. We will leverage Ivanhoe Capital’s resources in support of this exciting, new creative endeavor.”

After two decades as the president and co-founder of New York-based GreeneStreet Films, Penotti will transition to the new company with his relocation to Los Angeles. At GreeneStreet, Penotti produced more than 30 films, including the Oscar-nominated film “In the Bedroom.”

“I could not be more thrilled that this new venture has come together. Robert’s enthusiasm and support will allow us to quickly establish a unique and robust development and production slate,” said Penotti.

The Beijing-born Chen previously served as founder and chairman of Beijing Premiere Media Company, a reality content and international production company based in China. Prior to that, he was a television roducer for China Central Television.

“In Asia, the film industry continues to grow exponentially and presents compelling opportunities for the best writing, directing and acting talent in the world. Good stories are global –not culturally specific– and we are proud to be part of this venture,” he said.