By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Annapurna Adds $350 Million Credit Facility

[PR] – Annapurna, an independent entertainment company with film, television, and interactive verticals as well as an upstart marketing and distribution operation, has completed a $350 million revolving credit facility, it was announced today. The new line of credit will provide a firm financial foundation as the company continues to expand their enterprises and build its production, development, and distribution slates and expand into new mediums.

J.P. Morgan served as administrative agent and sole bookrunner for the facility, as well as co-lead arranger with Comerica Bank. Other parties included City National Bank, First Republic Bank, HSBC, MUFG Union Bank, SunTrust Bank and Wells Fargo.

“We are excited to provide financial support and industry expertise to Annapurna as they continue to build upon their success story,” said David Shaheen, managing director and head of Entertainment Industries for J.P. Morgan’s Corporate Client Banking group. “The enthusiasm shown from the entertainment banking community is a testament to what the company has accomplished.”

“We are grateful for J.P. Morgan and our entire bank group’s confidence in Annapurna.  Their backing, along with that of the many partners who have joined us this year, is validation of the platform Megan and our team have built, and we’re excited to have their support of our continued growth,” said Annapurna CFO, Josh Small.

Since 2012, Annapurna’s films have received thirty-two Academy Award nominations, including three Best Picture nods for AMERICAN HUSTLE, HER, and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Most recently, the company released the critically acclaimed film DETROIT, from filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, as their first distribution title.

ABOUT ANNAPURNA

Annapurna, founded by Megan Ellison, focuses on creating sophisticated, high-quality content that is critically and commercially conscious while still appealing to a diverse audience. By upholding Ellison’s vision to put filmmakers and artists first and preserve their authentic creative voices no matter the genre or medium, in 5 years, the company has garnered a total of 32 Academy Award nominations for their projects, including ZERO DARK THIRTY, JOY, THE MASTER, FOXCATCHER, and THE GRANDMASTER. Ellison is also one of only four honorees ever to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year, with HER and AMERICAN HUSTLE, both earning nods in 2014. Currently, Annapurna is in release for Kathryn Bigelow’s DETROIT, its first distribution title, which debuted to strong critical acclaim. Other upcoming releases for 2017 include Angela Robinson’s PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN. The company is also in production on the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, and Kristen Wiig and on Jacques Audiard’s first English-language film, THE SISTERS BROTHERS. Annapurna’s other recent projects include Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, which was nominated for two Golden Globes and earned Mills a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination, as well as SAUSAGE PARTY, WIENER-DOG, and EVERYBODY WANTS SOME. Bigelow also directed and partnered with Annapurna on the animated short LAST DAYS, about illegal elephant poaching and the ivory trade

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch