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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS U.S. INDEPENDENT FILM INDUSTRY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 25, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is guaranteeing financing to support the production of four U.S. independent films under a program that promotes more U.S.-based film production and preserves entertainment jobs in the United States.

Unlike major studios, which can finance their own productions, independent film producers rely on bank loans for which foreign distribution contracts serve as collateral. Ex-Im Bank developed its Film Production Guarantee Program with the assistance of AFMA, the trade association representing the independent film industry. The program can expand the available financing for Indy films by assuming a portion of the repayment risks on the foreign distribution contracts. Ex-Im Bank support is limited to films where at least 50 percent of the production budget is of U.S. origin.

We are delighted to expand the lending capacity of the U.S. entertainment industry through this program, said Ex-Im Bank Vice Chairman Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. We want to reach out to more lenders with experience in film production lending, and through them to the entire independent film industry. The U.S. independent film industry directly employs approximately 150,000 people and accounts for about $3 billion in U.S. exports annually.

The films being supported are: The United States of Leland, a drama about a troubled youth learning about good and evil, whose producers include Kevin Spacey, also a star in the film; Lost Treasure, an action film about a reality-based TV game show; Global Effect, an action film about a lethal virus; and High Voltage, an action film about a military solar energy project gone awry. The Lewis Horwitz Organization (LHO), a division of Southern Pacific Bank, Los Angeles, CA, is providing loans for the production of these films in amounts of up to $5 million. Ex-Im Bank is guaranteeing up to 90% of the portion of the loans secured by foreign contracts.

Banks experienced in film production lending that are interested in joining the Ex-Im Bank program should contact Charles Goohs, Manager of Product Development, at 202-565-3790.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loans, guarantees and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank supported $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.