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FUNDING Finland

Finnish IPR.VC invests in pan-European projects

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- The venture capital firm will co-fund the TV adaptation of The Red Harlequin fantasy saga and is also currently supporting Rudolph Herzog’s upcoming feature

Finnish IPR.VC invests in pan-European projects
An image for The Red Harlequin

Founded in 2015 by Timo Argillander, Tanu-Matti Tuominen and Jarkko Virtanen, the Helsinki-based venture capital firm IPR.VC has mainly invested in Finnish digital media content, ranging from Nordic-noir TV series (Bordertown) and feature films(Tom of Finland [+see also:
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, The Guardian Angel) to animation and games. With an initial €20 million pilot fund, the firm has always tried to attract international potential to its locally-backed investments. As Nordic Film and TV News exclusively reports, IPR.VC plans to double its initial fund and invest in more pan-European projects.

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According to reports, the second VC fund is about to increase to almost €50 million and will maintain a focus on film and TV drama. The latest of these new investments is the development of a TV series based on Roberto Ricci’s fantasy book series, The Red Harlequin. Aimed at a young adult audience, the saga follows Asheva, an aspirational teenager living in a complex world divided among Chrome Nations, where everyone lives hidden behind a mask.

The series already encompasses five books, which have had great success across Europe, and a graphic novel (with another one currently in production), while five more books are planned to be released over five years. The partnership between the Finnish VC firm and the Italian-born author has been made through Pantomimus Media, a new company founded by Ricci and his UK-based agent Lisa Hryniewicz (Koko Media Agency), with plans to go beyond a TV adaptation and develop a 360 transmedia strategy.

Timo Argillander, managing partner at IPR.VC, commented, “The Red Harlequin is a unique and compelling intellectual medium, whose contents can easily extend from books and comics to a plethora of formats and adaptations, such as TV series, music, video games, film and licensing. We are confident that The Red Harlequin will become an exciting phenomenon.”

American producer Rick Porras, known for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is already on board as an executive producer and will be overseeing both the TV production and the long-term 360 strategy. The estimated budget per season is €30 million for 12-one-hour episodes.

Furthermore, IPR.VC is already collaborating on Rudolph Herzog’s upcoming feature film How to Sell a War (read the news here) starring Katherine Parkinson, Lily Newmark and Jay Pharaoh. Produced by Mike Downey and Sam Taylor of UK/Irish Film and Music Entertainment, in co-production with Georgian 20 Steps Production (Vladimer Katcharava) (read the news here) and in association with Quickfire Films and the Georgian National Film Centre, the film is due to be released in September 2018, with the UK sales outfit Bankside Films handling sales.

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