Passion First Funding Portal, a new online film financing company, was announced yesterday at The Sundance Film Festival. It is one of the first portals to be formed under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS), which was passed in September in an attempt to promote small business ventures.
The primary goal of Passion First is to establish a relationship between film projects and possible investors. Under JOBS, online funding techniques such as crowdfunding have made financing more accessible for startups and small companies like Passion First.
Nevertheless, crowdfunding for Passion First will be different from the existing methods in several ways. As with the traditional market, financiers will be able to reclaim their investments as well as receive returns. This will make all payments--different from donations--not a form of taxable income for filmmakers. In addition to this, Passion First will provide a platform for investors to communicate with one another. As demanded by JOBS, investors will also be required to have knowledge about the way startup investments work. Lastly, Passion First will maintain a strict environment where only accredited investors may participate; also guaranteeing that intellectual property rights are protected.
Part of Passion First's security will be dependent on its
high level of selectivity, in which only professional and experienced
filmmakers can participate. The startup will implement an intense
selection process in order to match these filmmakers with appropriate
Founder of Passion First Funding Portal and longtime producer Richard Guay ("True Love," "Kinsey") asserts the necessity of this process in order to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) while still maintaining a user-friendly atmosphere.
Passion First will be launched in the upcoming months, following the approval of Proposed Regulations by the SEC. There will be no specific criteria on the type of films that will be able to qualify. Eventually; however, Passion First plans to expand to include larger, multimedia projects.
"Most of us are in this business because of seminal films that impacted our lives. Passion First is there to facilitate the pairing of creative and business interests to make more of these films possible," Guay said.