Tag Archive: investment


Varenya Softech PRESS RELEASE HeaderVARENYA SOFTECH FOCUSES ON CLMVT REGIONAL EXPANSION

JOINT VENTURE OPENS UP ASEAN BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

BANGKOK, THAILAND, July 18, 2016 – India’s Varenya Softech Private Limited is excited to announce the merging of operations with On Your Services Co., Ltd. The Thailand registered company established in 2014 has been providing consultancy services to Varenya Softech across the CLMVT region.

Varenya Softech Twitter  - 2“We are excited to see the great progress that the Varenya Softech team has made in India and the CLMVT region is really emerging as a powerful and largely untapped marketplace where ‘Software-as-a-Service’ is poised to boom. SaaS is not just an add-on for any business in every industry sector, it is essential for business growth, success and survival.” James With, CEO of On Your Services Co., Ltd.

The private joint venture partnership arrangement involves an undisclosed exchange of shares and combines the staff and resources of the two companies to further expansion. Varenya Softech’s proprietary software products are suitable for companies of all sizes, being used by leading companies including Siemens, HSBC, Nestlē, Hallmark and other clients. Multiple award-winning Varenya Softech Pvt. Ltd. has been recognized for successes, receiving praise from clients and industry specialists.

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Varenya Softech 3Varenya Softech provides business technology solutions and managed services; more than simply delivering technology or providing outsourcing based on Varenya Softech’s winning combination of insight, innovation, and deep knowledge of cutting edge technologies. Varenya Softech offers an optimum blend of personal and technical skills backed by tools, methodologies, and best practices that reduce the cost and risk of deployments.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact James With in India by phone at +91-80-66186074 or email at sales@varenyasoftech.com or James With in Thailand at james@varenyasoftech.com

 

 

 

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#Brexit – How does it affect the UK Film Industry ?- Conjecture and Opinions

Well, after reading the article by Stephen Follows copied in its entirety below, I’m certainly not in agreement and have been prompted to provide my own views on this historic and groundbreaking referendum held on 23rd June 2016 in the UK now commonly called the “Brexit” vote.

Britain is well-prepared and will triumph gloriously as the panic subsides. I am most probably going to be critiqued on my statements here and wildly criticised for being contrarian or called worse? Let me start by stating that the film industry generally and globally is going through a dynamic disruptive metamorphosis; changes are inevitable as strong growth in media continues, and as new business relationships are consummated in a rapidly changing economic landscape. The models have changed. Funding productions and distributing content is no longer utilising film funding mechanics that were developed and put in place decades ago, and before the Internet changed everything.

L2L Brexit Opportunity

Countries and their governments throughout the world are adopting film incentives processes building on local strengths as they have researched and found how important attracting filmmaking in their jurisdictions is to other industry sectors within their borders. Film incentives emanated from Hollywood and were initiated by “Runaway Production“. In the late 1990’s Hollywood film industry guilds, backed by US studios and media companies retained a company that produced the Monitor Report to conduct an investigation into phenomenon. The global success of production incentives and the migration of feature film production from the U.S.A. to the world spurred further in-depth research and data collection.

 

The outcome of the Brexit vote in the UK has rippled rapidly through the financial services industry, banks and global markets and will continue for some time yet; all are experiencing very high levels of volatility and this has sent shock waves around the world.

Brexit Pound Drops

Record drops in Pound Sterling currency trading

 

The British Pound has plummeted to record lows with the media networks harping on in sound bites, excited sensationalism about trading drops not seen in 45 years of market analytics et al. Well, what most people seemingly don’t realise or understand about
film industry dynamics is that the film necessarily thrives during times of uncertainty. This can be seen throughout history, across countries and around the world. Do some deep research into what I am writing here and you will likely be surprised to find correlations that support my words! The British film industry has evolved and will continue to capture global market shares in the media industry, and I see this time as stimulating greater growth, as opposed to what the pundits and commentators are bleating along with those who see things differently.

Brexit Britain On Film BFI

Britain On Film Our Lives Our Stories www.bfi.org.uk

Here’s some background worth reciting to put current views in context. “The UK was not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome which created the EEC in 1957. The country subsequently applied to join the organization in 1963 and again in 1967, but both applications were vetoed by the then President of FranceCharles de Gaulle, ostensibly because “a number of aspects of Britain’s economy, from working practices to agriculture had made Britain incompatible with Europe and that Britain harbored a “deep-seated hostility” to any pan-European project. Once de Gaulle had relinquished the French presidency, the UK made a third application for membership, which was successful. On 1 January 1973 the United Kingdom joined the EEC, then often referred to in the UK as the “Common Market”. This was done under the Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath. The opposition Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, contested the October 1974 general election with a commitment to renegotiate Britain’s terms of membership of the EEC and then hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EEC on the new terms.”

Brexit British Film Soldiers On - Barry Lyndon 1975 Stanley Kubrick

A scene from “Barry Lyndon” 1975, directed by Stanley Kubrick

Now more than four decades on in 2016 the people of the UK have voted and the majority have chosen to leave the fold.

The EU and EEA (formerly known as EEC) have been weighed, measured and left wanting.

Brexit Wins Overall

British “Brexit” Referendum Final Results

The globalists,  corporate interests, banks and politicians that are are all screaming and moaning at the top of their lungs that the UK has absconded are behaving like chicks hatching out of cracked and spoiled boiled eggs. Many of those who have been gambling on this huge European casino economy are locked into the Euro currency; Britain is not.

In retrospect keeping the British Pound was a very smart move and whilst obviously it will be spinning fast and furiously on the roulette wheel of global currency markets for a while, the wheel will begin to slow and when it settles, the strength and growth prospects inherent in the British economy will begin to shine. Now that the UK has left the table, after having been previously drawn to the allure of bright lights and European delights at a time in British history when things looked a damn sight more appealing across the channel than the dire conditions in England that occurred in the aftermath of World War II.Brexit BFI Facebook on Billy Wilder

Britain was enticed down the old golden gilt garden path and as things became boggy and more recently progressively stagnant a modern economic quagmire of dissent and distrust emerged and flowed in the under currents of populations and opinions. The British people have decided to take their remaining chips, cash in at the borders and leave the building. If you’ve ever been into a casino, you will have noticed that they like to keep the light constant, day and night, to trick people and punters into staying on and gambling for longer; the EU bureaucratic empire operates as aqueously within its vast corridors of power, ever flowing, ever changing and most haven’t even noticed where the leakages are occurring.

Brexit The Movie is a full length British documentary film that provides some very interesting factual details, and well worth watching more than once.

The United Kingdom now stands to benefit immensely.

 

Building on new trends and timing with markets

Evidence suggests that the trends of US and EU companies pursuing strategic partnerships in Asia is increasing in 2016.

Brexit Pole - Interest Rates

Fiscal imbalances and floundering interest rates

Such trends are not exclusive to strategic decisions being made by corporations in the entertainment, media, and Hollywood talent agencies. The British Film Institute research provides great insights into how UK Film industry has been positioning for a more dynamic growth into new markets. A renewed focus on private equity and Family Office funding coupled with recent increased volatility in financial markets has spurred a swathe of mergers and acquisitions activity across the divide between East and West. Britain stands to benefit in this changing dynamic global shift we are in the midst of witnessing.

OTT and Streaming revenues growth accelerators

Activity and accelerated knowledge growth amongst Asian countries in the OTT and Premium OTT services sectors is driving increased competition for market share in four principle market angles:

  • Market enablers: the underlying market conditions for premium OTT offerings (e.g. population, broadband, devices, penetration, payment gateways)
  • OTT building blocks: the assets, capabilities, technologies and services required to develop and launch subscription OTT offerings (e.g. government regulation, censorship, languages, cultural specialties)
  • Consumer demand: awareness, interest, willingness to pay, serviceability to pay, payment options
  • The competitive environment between OTT services, pay-tv offerings (Netflix, iflix, et al)

Britain is poised strategically and the smart money and smart ideas are disruptive. I see Brexit as a smart move, contrary to the inference by general mass media reports that most of the voters were low income classes lacking in understanding. Smart companies are banking on future technologies that will change the way we do business around the world. Furthermore, Britain can now create new relationships more efficiently and operate without needing EU approvals, that are more complex and time consuming to get approved across the channel. Providing scalability as well as flexibility to explore expansion opportunities and build business relationships in ASEAN and India at an exciting time when these Asian regions are experiencing extraordinary changes is an opportunity for the taking.

Brexit BFI Into Film

BFI Into Film education programme

The British Film Industry stands to benefit immensely as it is well supported within the country by the BFI coupled with educational programmes such as Into Film and these can quickly and easily become interesting areas of growth for British film professionals showing their wares to countries with less established film industry mechanisms. Growth in the global media industry is vibrant and expanding. As Asia creates new forums, established British technology and experience in teaching and learning programs can be exported and provide assistance and services for Startups in countries experiencing strong growth. Focusing on new business avenues and matching these efficiently with cost effectively implementation of entertainment and media growth strategies is the key to sustainability; remaining adaptable to future changes is vital for survival.

Innovations and Cultural Specifics

Innovations in technology and rapid growth utilising enterprise software to enhance business efficiency coupled to growing mobile penetration is prevalent across ASEAN.

Brexit Mobile penetration demographics SE Asia

Mobile Communications Demographics in South East Asia

With large populations utilizing high-speed data services and ever-increasing access to mobile communications coupled with the proliferation of marketing and advertising censorship controls are the subject of Governments and populations wishing to monitor and filter content delivered over the Internet.

India’s super angel investors are predominantly focused on the media technology and innovation spaces and are keenly interested in developing strategic partnerships with growth stories that focus on expansion in Asia.

The UK film industry is not only going to benefit from what I see as being relatively short-term weakness in the British Pound currency, Britain will thrive as the English people build upon their long history and experiences of seeking out and discovering new lands, building and expanding. With Brexit Britain has begun a new era of British conquest but not of conquer; this time the prospects are for the country to prosper on new relationships with new partners, rather than empire building as it was during the days of the East India Company “formed to pursue trade with the East Indies but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and Qing China.” The company rose to account for half of the world’s trade, particularly in basic commodities including cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. This time Britain will be bringing AI, nano-technology and British Startups Technology to the world.

Thank you for taking the time to read my conjecture and opinions here. I look forward with positivism and optimism as the world begins to dance rather than march to a new tune.

This article is created and written by James With, spurred after reading the article by Stephen Follows dated June 26, 2016 copied here below.

***************************************************************

The full article by Stephen Follows is reprinted here for ease and efficiency with respect to views expressed by many film industry heavyweights and further juxtaposition.

How will Brexit affect the UK film industry?

How will Brexit affect the UK film industry?Last Thursday, 52% of the UK population voted for the UK to leave the European Union (EU).  I am going to avoid the political side of this conversation as it’s been covered well elsewhere.  I will also avoid sharing my own opinion on the matter as there are no shortage of people shouting off on one side or another.However, I thought I can add to the conversation by looking at the numbers for how the British and European film industries interact and how Brexit will affect the UK film industry.

How will Brexit affect the UK film industry?

It’s worth noting that a large part of the whole Brexit debate was taken up with discussing unknowns.  Neither side has a magic crystal ball and so it’s impossible to say for certain exactly what will happen in a post-EU UK.  However, some outcomes are almost automatic, in that if the UK stops paying into the EU then it can expect to stop receiving money out of the EU.  So, here is a rundown of the negative effects of Brexit to the UK film industry…

  1. MEDIA logoAn end to MEDIA / Creative Europe funding (certain).  Between 2007-13, the MEDIA scheme provided over €100 million towards various aspects of the UK film industry. The loss of this money is the biggest, clearest effect of Brexit and so I’ve addressed it in the section below.
  2. In the short-term, British / European co-productions will be harder (very likely). Official co-productions allow international film producers to work together to create a film which can gain state protections and tax benefits from multiple countries at the same time. In the immediate future, co-productions between British and European countries will become harder, due to the fall in the value of the Pound and the growing uncertainty.
  3. In the long-term, British / European co-productions may need new legislation (unclear).  Official co-productions are only possible between countries which have signed a treaty defining co-production rules. The UK currently has active treaties with Australia, Canada, China, India, Israel, Jamaica, Morocco, New Zealand, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, South Africa and the EU.  The EU treaty is called the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production and was signed in October 1992 in Strasbourg.  This European treaty is not exclusively for just EU members as it refers to its signatories as “member States and the other States Parties to the European Cultural Convention”.  The UK signed the original treaty as a member of the EU so conceivably it would need to sign up again as a “European non-member State”.  Interestingly, the UK already has a separate co-production agreement with France, signed in 1994, so British / French co-productions may not be affected by Brexit in the same way co-productions with other EU member states are.
  4. British content will be much less attractive to European broadcasters (almost certain). Some European countries have quotas on the amount of European content their exhibitors and broadcasters must show.  For example, the majority (i.e. minimum of 51%) of French entertainment broadcast transmission time must be taken up with programs of European origin.  Not only did this increase demand for native UK films and television shows but it also made UK / US co-productions more attractive.  For example, ‘The Night Manager’ was a £30 million co-production between the BBC and AMC, which also qualified as an EU production.  In a post-Brexit world, it is very unlikely that such products will be classed as ‘European’ and will therefore lose a large part of their value to European countries with such quotas.
  5. Increased complexities for international cast and crew (possible but unclear).  One of the features of a unified Europe is the free movement of people, goods and services.  New visa requirements and work permits could affect both British people filming in Europe and European people filming in the UK.  That said, the issue is a little more complicated than just ‘in or out’ of the EU. This passport and border controls are covered not by the EU but instead by the Schengen Agreement, and only 22 of the EU’s 28 member states are currently signed up (also, the UK and Ireland have certain opt-outs),  In addition, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are members of the Schengen Area but not of the EU.  The basics of the free movement of people and services is also not simply an EU issue, but was instead established in the Treaty of Rome. So it’s not clear what would happen post-Brexit as new agreements will need to be reached in order to keep the free movement protections the film industry has enjoyed until now.
  6. Fewer UK films will be distributed in Europe (certain). EU funding has supported the export of UK film to Europe to a massive degree. In fact, between 2007-13, almost €45 million was spent to bring UK films to European cinema audiences.  Details of which films were supported follow in the next section.
  7. Blue is the warmest colourFewer international films will be distributed in the UK (certain, although the extent is unknown).  Between 2007-13, UK-based businesses received over €20 million in EU funding to support the release of European films in the UK.  In addition, if Brexit continues to cause a weak Pound then it becomes more expensive for UK distributors to acquire new content.  However, this will affect all UK distributors equally, so may only reduce the amount UK distributors can pay upfront (known as the Minumum Guarantee, or MG) rather than prevent distribution entirely.
  8. UK independent cinemas will lose income.  (certain, although the extent is unknown).  56 UK independent cinemas receive funding from the EU as part of the Europa Cinema scheme, which supports cinemas which commit an average of 67% of their programming to European films.  Between 2007-13, this averaged out to over €103,000 per cinema.
  9. The negative effect of uncertainty (very likely). The film industry is highly fickle and responds negatively towards uncertainty.  This is partly due to the large amounts of money at stake and the desire to reduce risks wherever possible.  Right now no-one is sure what effect Brexit will have on the UK film industry, and so it may seem a safer bet to wait this period of change out before investing in UK film productions.
  10. Loss of influence on European rules affecting UK content (certain but effects unknown). By leaving the EU, the UK will forfeit its right to influence EU policy towards film and television content.  This will most acutely be felt in the discussions around the proposed Single Digital Market, which aims to force distributors to treat the EU as one territory, rather than distributing films country-by-country as happens today.

Despite these negative effects, Brexit could be positive for the UK film industry in the following ways…

  1. several-pound-bills-new-british-20-pounds-moneyIt becomes cheaper to shoot in the UK (uncertain).  If the Pound continues to lose value (as it has since the Brexit voted was announced) then the UK becomes ever-cheaper for foreign productions to set up shop in the UK. This will have the biggest effect on Hollywood studios, who spend vast sums of money and whose green-screen epics can be shot almost anywhere in the world.   Between 2006-15, UK / USA studios films spent £7.7 billion in the UK, accounting for 68% of the money spent on UK films.
  2. The UK is free to change its tax rules (certain).  The current Film Tax Relief (FTR) scheme is very generous and offers producers a refund worth around a fifth of the money they spend on UK films in the UK.  As a member of the EU, the UK is bound by rules on State Aid and does not have a free hand to change government incentives and subsidies without EU approval. When the FTR first came in, it gave points for various elements being British, such as the cast, crew, languages used, etc.  However, EU rules have forced the UK to widen the criteria to favour all Europeans equally.  This means that it is now possible to have a film that qualifies as fully “Brtish” with an all-Italian crew, based on a Spanish story, told in German. Leaving the EU will remove these restrictions on UK film tax policy. This freedom will mostly benefit the unseen civil servants who draw up the actual tax laws, but this increased flexibility means that in theory our film incentives can be changed more often and be better tailored to the needs of the UK film industry.
  3. Avoid proposed new European rules on release patterns (certain freedom from a possible event). As discussed above, the Single Digital Market could mean that films need to be released in Europe as one territory all at once.  It’s not certain how the new rules will eventually be written, but if we’re out of the EU then we’re certainly not going to be part of it.  This will still affect British films exported to Europe but not films released in the UK.
  4. The UK can spend that saved money directly on UK film (extremely unclear).  In theory, the UK can use the money saved by not paying into the EU to directly replace the money and support that was lost by the lack of MEDIA funding.  It remains unclear if the government wishes to do this.

How much has the MEDIA budget benefitted the UK film industry?

MEDIA currently provides money to the UK film sector for training, development, co-productions, festivals and theatrical distribution.  Over a seven year period (2007-13), the EU provided over €100,000,000 towards various aspects of UK film industry.  This breaks down as follows…

  • MEDIA - Brexit affect the UK film industry€44,561,008 – Awards to European distributors to release UK films
  • €10,478,771 – Investment in UK TV broadcasting
  • €8,898,821 – Distribution of European films in the UK
  • €7,830,252 – Development – UK Slate funding
  • €6,939,604 – Development – UK Single projects
  • €5,810,965 – UK cinemas part of the Europa network
  • €4,910,314 – UK-based training
  • €2,975,703 – UK VoD platforms
  • €2,775,444 – UK-based film courses and schools
  • €2,013,688 – Development – UK Interactive works
  • €890,530 – Grants to UK sales agents who represent non-UK European films
  • €85,0718 – UK pilot release programs
  • €695,500 – European Day-and-Date pilots
  • €539,766 – i2i Audiovisual (plugging finance gaps in UK / European co-productions)
  • €100,171,084 – Total

As mentioned above, UK films have received a huge amount of EU funding for their releases around Europe.  These include…

  • Kings Speech in FrenchThe Iron Lady – €1,531,922 – 31 European territories
  • Slumdog Millionaire – €1,339,104 – 24 European territories
  • Quartet – €1,339,009 – 23 European territories
  • Looking For Eric – €1,297,031 – 26 European territories
  • Tamara Drewe – €1,239,843 – 22 European territories
  • The King’s Speech – €1,025,717 – 26 European territories
  • The Last Legion – €1,025,551 – 3 European territories
  • The Duchess – €954,012 – 19 European territories
  • Shame – €951,814 – 27 European territories
  • Another Year – €914,330 – 21 European territories
  • I Give It a Year – €892,867 – 29 European territories
  • Streetdance 3D – €891,644 – 17 European territories
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – €882,124 – 27 European territories
  • The Secret of Moonacre – €814,964 – 5 European territories
  • Song for Marion – €787,987 – 15 European territories
  • Happy-Go-Lucky – €750,173 – 24 European territories
  • Hysteria – €748,066 – 25 European territories
  • Fish Tank – €737,813 – 29 European territories
  • Nowhere Boy – €708,871 – 8 European territories
  • The Angels’ Share – €699,286 – 27 European territories
  • A further €25,028,880 awarded to other UK films

Finally, it’s worth mentioning some of the European films that have reached UK cinema audiences in part because of EU funding. These include A Prophet, The Great Beauty, Gomorrah, I Am Love, Persepolis, Love is All You Need, The Class, Amour, Potiche, Waltz with Bashir, Heartbreaker, Of Gods and Men, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Pina, Two Days In Paris, The Counterfeiters, The White Ribbon, Melancholia, Antichrist and Molière.

What is the UK film industry’s opinion on Brexit?

It’s fair to say that the vast majority of people working in the UK film industry are firmly against the UK leaving the EU.  UK arts pressure group the Creative Industries Federation say that 96% of its members supported the Remain campaign and 84% said that EU membership was important to the future of their organisation.   A poll by Media Business Insight found that 66% of people working in the UK film industry felt that Brexit would have a negative impact on the sector.  A further 18.5% were uncertain on the outcome of Brexit, with only 11.5% believing that Brexit would be positive for the UK’s film industry.

So why are so many UK film professionals against Brexit?  This could be for a number of reasons…

  • Political values. The film industry is traditional a fairly liberal-minded industry and the liberal cause is largely pro-EU.
  • Geographical location.  The majority of UK film jobs are located in London and London was a hotbed of anti-Brexit sentiment (60% of London voters opted to Remain).
  • Age. The film industry has much lower age profile than the UK population, and polls have shown how the majority of those under 50 supported Remain while a majority of those over 50 supported Leave.
  • Fear of uncertainty.  The UK film industry is in a period of stable growth, thanks in large part to a stable government approach to film incentives.  Uncertainties in the future could scare off investors and studios from making investments in UK films.
  • The majority of predictable outcomes to the UK film industry are negative.  The list at the top of this article shows how the vast majority of expected Brexit outcomes are negative for UK film.

Here is a summary of press coverage on the issue…

  • Brexit game of ThronesScreen Daily says that the UK film and TV sectors are in “limbo” and that “the two sectors had recently expressed strong sentiment in favour of remaining in the European Union, which is the major trade partner of the UK and which provides millions of pounds in subsidies to the UK market as well as a number of frameworks for coproduction. That structure is now in serious doubt“.
  • Variety collected views from a number of major voices in UK film, summing them up by saying “British voters’ stunning decision to turn their backs on the European Union has left many of the country’s leading TV and film players reeling“.
  • The Guardian summed up the situation by saying that there would be “less cash, fewer movies” and also that “we could witness a 70s-style British film meltdown”.
  • The Hollywood Reporter led with “U.K. Producers Oppose Brexit”, pointing out that “James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, veteran David Puttnam, Matthew Vaughn, The King’s Speech producer Iain Canning, Slumdog Millionaire’s Christian Colson and Aardman Animations are among those who outlined their reasons for why staying in the EU is the right call for those who want “to support our current, thriving creative industries.”“.
  • Broadcast magazine noted that shares in ITV dropped 19% within a day of the vote being announced, and the Sky share price also fell 8%.  Further drops were felt by eOne and Vivendi.
  • The Verge discussed the possible effect of Brexit on ‘Game of Thrones’, saying “US productions might feel the effect, too. Much of HBO’s Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland, for instance, partly supported by the European Regional Development Fund. HBO, however, says it doesn’t anticipate any financial impact on GoT, since the network took no money from the ERDF for the last few seasons, according to Entertainment Weekly“.
  • And the Radio Times pointed out one aspect of Brexit too many experts have overlooked by noting “The shock Brexit result will have massive ramifications – not least the fact that we may see less of beautiful French actress Clémence Poésy on TV“.

A number of top UK film voices have shared their views and I could fill an entire article with them.  However, for the sake of brevity, here are five which seem to sum up the mood…

  • Harvey WeisteinHarvey Weinstein said “I’m shocked… These guys who voted, voted out of fear. It’s a huge mistake… It could be very costly in the movie and TV industry in terms of content branding. European branding is very important. It’s a big deal for these young British filmmakers”.
  • Michael Ryan, Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliancesaid The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the UK film and TV industry. Producing films and television programs is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must. This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies. The UK creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy — this is likely to be devastating for us”.
  • Danny Perkinshead of Studiocanal UK said “Short term it’s bad news for the currency and terrible news for film acquisitions, which are normally done in dollars or euros. UK companies will suffer in the short term“.
  • Rebecca O’Brien of Sixteen Films said “It has blown us out of the water. We are very dependent on our relations with Europe. All of our films for the last 20 or 25 years have been co-productions with Europe. It (Brexit) doesn’t mean they will stop immediately but it means that trade, and access and all those things are much more difficult. It just means we have to re-invent the wheel again“.
  • Jeremy Thomas of the Recorded Picture Company quoted Charles Bukowski by saying that “the problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence“.  Mr Thomas added “For the film industry, it is a disaster“.

So what now?

BrexitSo many of the effects of Brexit are unknown.  Right now, the only thing that has happened is that a non-binding referendum was marginally won by the pro-Brexit movement.  There’s no doubt that the majority of the UK film industry hopes that Brexit doesn’t happen.  Failing that, the film industry is likely to seek the following outcomes from the government…

  • A deal to retain co-production advantages with EU countries.  Most likely this means ensuring that the UK remains signed up to European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.
  • An agreement to classify UK content as “European” in relation to production and distribution quotas.  This is a harder task than the co-production deal, although it should be noted that Switzerland has already achieved this for their content.
  • Replacement funding be provided for current MEDIA-funded activities.  A major claim of the Leave campaign was that the UK would save £350 million a week by leaving the EU.  It turns out that once you take into account the UK’s rebate the real saving is far lower, but even taking that into account, the money saved by leaving the EU could be used to replace the funding currently provided by MEDIA.
  • Action to be taken swiftly and confidently.  A protracted and messy exit will create a large amount of uncertainty and stifle investment in UK film.

Epilogue

Sorry if you were expecting to be able to read my final article in my series on film locations today.  I have had a number of people ask me about how Brexit will affect the film industry so I bumped the film locations article to next week.  Stay tuned…

 

Inglourious Bar Studs

Inglourious Bar Studs

Alternative Investment Finance for Film and Entertainment Projects

There’s no need to rely on scarce and periodic Government grants and/or applying and waiting an indeterminate time for State film commissions to assess and possibly if you’re in luck approving your project in order to funds these days. The opportunities and scope for securing money, services and marketing resources are immense. Film and Entertainment Financing has a huge new arena to tap into; crowdfunding is exploding and now that the SEC in the United States of America has passed regulations for equity crowdfunding the playing field just got a whole lot wider.


Inglourious Bar Studs

Inglourious Bar Studs

Inglourious Bar Studs” (http://www.sittinganddrinking.com) is the first film project that I am financing partially from crowdfunding and it’s been a great learning experience. There’s a lot to know and the alternative finance sphere is not a spectre to be shunned. I have created an online paper called The INglourious News Daily that provides everyone with a wide selection of relevant source materials and articles to widen your horizons. You can get a variety of cutting edge insights and stay up to date on the emerging and evolving funding sources available today.

According to Raghavendra Rau, the Research Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School: “The Asia Pacific region includes many of the most populous and fastest growing developing countries in the world – China, India and Indonesia and many more. The rapid uptake of mobile technologies and the permeation of social media is enabling these countries to leapfrog traditional banking infrastructure, which suggests that the potential growth of innovative alternative finance markets in the Asia-Pacific may be higher than other regions.”

Alternative finance encompasses innovative financial instruments and distributive channels that have emerged outside of the traditional financial system. The alternative finance industry is experiencing rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The University of Cambridge, Tsinghua University & the University of Sydney have joined forces to launch the 2015 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey supported by KPMG, CME Group Foundation, the ACCA and 20 leading industry and academic research partners. The study will assess the activities of equity- and reward-based crowdfunding, peer-to-peer consumer and business lending (i.e. Marketplace Lending) and invoice trading, which are directly connecting lenders to borrowers, raising venture capital for start-ups, funding the creative industries and creating new ways for individuals and institutions to control how and to whom money is distributed, lent and invested.

Inglourious Bar Studs

Inglourious Bar Studs

University of Sydney Business School Dean and Professor Greg Whitwell said: “An interesting trend in alternative finance in Australia and emerging East Asian countries is the emergence of social-cause based alternative financing activities. There is also an urgent policy need to study the Asia Pacific alternative finance industry, which is unregulated in most jurisdictions. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia are debating regulations, yet they are doing so in the absence of reliable data on the scale and type of such financing activities.’

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, the Tsinghua University, Graduate School of Shenzhen and the University of Sydney Business School are jointly launching the 2015 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey. This survey will be the first-ever comprehensive study of crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other forms of alternative finance across the Asia-Pacific region – including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The survey is supported by KPMGCME Group Foundation, the ACCA and 20 leading alternative finance industry and academic research partners across the Asia-Pacific and beyond, including the Crowdfunding Institute of Australia, LendIt, Crowdfund China Society, Hong Kong Crowdfunding Association, Wangdaizhijia, New Zealand Crowdfunding Society, Japan Crowdfunding Council, Crowdfund Asia Association, Korean FinTech Forum, ShengZhen Crowdfunding Association, Change Fusion Thailand, World Crowdfunding Conference, Crowdsourcing Week, Crowdfund Vibe, FinTech Hong Kong, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Nagoya University, the University of Amsterdam, Ahmedabad University with CrowdfundInsider as the industry media partner.

There really is so much more to discuss and write about on this topic and positive thoughts on this subject are welcome and appreciated.

Best wishes,

James With
Chairman
TRI-US Entertainment
“Partnering With the World to Create a Positive Difference”

Thursday 16th January 2014 – today, whilst working on my current Film Projects I have been compelled to take time out and write my first blog article for 2014 …

Anonymous Motorcycle Driver during "Bangkok Shutdown" march on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Anonymous Motorcycle Driver during “Bangkok Shutdown” march on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Yuriko Koike, Japan’s former defense minister and national security adviser, was Chairwoman of Japan’s Liberal Democrat Party and currently is a member of the National Diet. In her article titled “Who Lost Thailand?” published on 15th January 2014, Ms. Yuriko Koike writes “Thailand, Southeast Asia’s most developed and sophisticated economy, is teetering on the edge of the political abyss. Yet most of the rest of Asia appears to be averting its eyes from the country’s ongoing and increasingly anarchic unrest. That indifference is not only foolish; it is dangerous. Asia’s democracies now risk confronting the same harsh question that the United States faced when Mao Zedong marched into Beijing, and again when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah in Iran. Who, they will have to ask, lost Thailand?”

As a long time expatriate resident of Thailand there are quarter tones joined as chords that resonate in unison, 21st century composers in sympathetic dissonance, emanating from the trading partner-ships whistling through troubled waters in the East China Sea, the stage of Japan’s dispute with China to the smaller vessels hauling materials on a variety of other covert Whistle-blowers and covered junks conducting business, whilst traveling up and down the Mekong River, a vital chord flowing with life, connecting China, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam. From the river’s banks life is bottled up and exchanged in merchandise that ripples through many states, the birth places of many indigenous peoples from Qinghai, Tibet, Yunnan, Shan, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Oudomxay, Luang Phrabang, Sayabouly, Vientiane, Vientiane, Bolikhamsai, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Salavan, Champasak until eventually the remaining silt branches out and spills into various points and exits Vietnam somewhere between the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, where sabre-rattling and posturing continues to spread outwards.

The Mekong Delta (Vietnamese: Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long or in English often transliterated to mean the “Nine Dragon river delta”) could be accurately described as a rather gradual fertile river delta and unlike Japan it is not close to any submarine abyss. Continuing movement on the subduction zone associated with the Japan Trench is one of the main causes of tsunamis and earthquakes in northern Japan, including the megathrust Tōhoku earthquake and resulting tsunami that occurred on 11 March 2011.

People marching during "Bangkok Shutdown" on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Despite the “Bangkok Shutdown” the Chao Phraya River continues to flow smoothly through Bangkok, known fondly as the “City of Angels” of the Far East and as with all rivers on the planet it too eventually meets a large body of water to empty into… and waterways are the veins of sustenance for life in all forms, and often are diverted, reformed, dammed and flooded, by natural forces as well as by human beings … as the seasons ebb and flow, the climate changes and prevailing winds of change wreak havok on agriculture and commercial business interests alike, there remains a natural inclination for things to remain in balance.

Perhaps, in a wider context the expressed perspective from Ms. Yuriko Koike shows how much Western ideologies have influenced and shaped the Japanese economy and the Japanese people’s opinion since the United States of America decidedly dropped Nuclear weapons of mass destruction on Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in August 1945? On August 15, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, and seven days after the Soviet Union’s declaration of war, Japan announced its surrender to the Allies, signing the Instrument of Surrender on 2nd September 1945, commonly acknowledged as officially ending World War II. The bombings’ role in Japan’s surrender and their ethical justification are still debated.

People marching during "Bangkok Shutdown" on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand: “Occupy Bangkok” Begins – Published 13th January 2014 is a very interesting and well-balanced account of what’s happened over the last decade to bring about the current protests in Bangkok Thailand being staged against the present Government that was elected by a majority vote supported by a well-financed regime leader living in exile that has used “Thaksinomics” as a political tool to amass a personal fortune; Taksin Shinawatra is himself supported by very strong wealthy global banking powers that want a larger share of the Kingdom’s valuables as well as those of other neighboring countries that have developed more slowly but are also are full of natural resources and deeply fertile environmental jewelry.

In the most recent general election Thailand‘s people voted to put Thaksin Shinawatra‘s sister Yingluck Shinawatra, a member of the Pheu Thai Party, and the 28th and current Prime Minister of Thailand following the 2011 general election into lead a new Government of Thailand. Yingluck is Thailand’s first female Prime Minister and at 45 is the youngest Prime Minister of Thailand in over 60 years.  A Statement delivered by Yingluck Shinawatra, H.E. the Prime Minister of Thailand on the dissolution of the House of Representatives was delivered on 9 December 2013. Many people in Thailand are now protesting against the regime’s manipulation of the country’s legislatures, its infiltration of Government structures and large corporations who have benefited from Thaksinomics.

There is an expressed feeling that the pillars of Government have been abused to such a degree that it has become unacceptable and unconscionable to remain in the shadows. The links in the Thailand: “Occupy Bangkok” Begins – Published 13th January 2014 article also lead to other interesting articles too.

Then on the same day my attention is directed to another article, written by William Pesek, a columnist writing for Bloomberg based in Tokyo, Japan. And this makes me ask the rhetorical question, which more aptly put is an observation: Who Won Japan?

Bloomberg should be ashamed to publish such an article. William Pesek’s views are way too polarized and filled with silly ignorant inaccurate general “sound bite” statements and phrases, such as are contained in “The choice is between Egypt and South Korea. It’s time for Thailand’s 67 million people to decide whether they want to live in a constant state of chaos and socioeconomic stasis (like Egypt), or to move up the economic ladder, Korea-style. The only way democracy works is if a critical mass of the people trust it. In Thailand’s case, that means building credible and independent institutions that provide checks and balances for elected officials. Only strong judiciaries, anti-corruption arms and networks of government watchdog agencies can ensure accountability.” … This, simply put is trashy journalism at its worst and Bloomberg should be careful to call it a “Bloomberg View”.

Bangkok Needs More Bread, Fewer Circuses” By William Pesek
January 15, 2014 11:26 AM EST – Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 1/15/2014 11:23 AM

William Pesek is based in Tokyo and writes on economics, markets and politics throughout the AsiaPacific region. His journalism awards include the 2010 Society of American Business Editors and Writers prize for commentary.

Since joining Bloomberg in 2000, Pesek’s columns have appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Post, the Straits Times, the Japan Times and many other publications around the world. Pesek began his journalism career writing for the American Banker and Bond Buyer newspapers. He also worked for Dow Jones Newswires, where he wrote the daily credit markets column for The Wall Street Journal. Pesek earned a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Bernard M. Baruch College-City University of New York.
Reference: http://www.bloomberg.com/view/bios/william-pesek/

The future for the peoples living in Thailand, the Governance of Thailand, it’s prosperity and the prosperity of Thailand’s South-East Asian neighbors is all at stake and will be affected by how things are perceived and the reaction of people not only in Thailand but also throughout the world. Why? Because, trading, imports and exports, for Thailand and ASEAN is contingent upon keeping the rivers flowing, water being proportioned in a balanced and respectable way for life to be sustainable and peaceful.

We pray for a process that will be as painless and as death-free as possible … we are living in interesting times… and we have a ways to travel yet… floods, droughts, come rain and shine, survival is a matter of adapting to change.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article, and here’s wishing you a safe, healthy and successful 2014 as we approach the Chinese Year of the Horse.

Blessings,
James With

PS After writing this article, the following articles were brought to my attention:

By Lewis M. SimonsCan Thailand Avoid Another Coup?“published 16th January 2014 formerly as “Thailand’s Grave Future”

By Credible Reform, Not Shutdown, Needed to End Thailand’s Political Standoff” – 15th January 2014

By @charliecamp6ellThe Nightmare Gets Worse For Embattled Thai PM Yingluck” – 17th January 2014

By Veera Prateepchaikul, Former Editor, Bangkok Post – Opinion “Corruption Award Goes to Rice Scheme”  – 17th January 2014
© Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved. View Bangkok Post policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip.

By Voranai Vanijaka in Bangkok Post – Opinion Commentary “With all sides wrong, There can be no right” – 19 January 2014
© Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved. View Bangkok Post policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip.

By Thin Lei Win Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation “Shutdown Protests in Bangkok ratchets up risk of violence and coup, ICG warns” on Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 07:00 AM & “The din of misogyny at Bangkok protests” on Friday, 17 Jan 2014 10:29 AM

Reuters Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Alan Raybould “Thai government imposes state of emergency in Bangkok” on Tuesday January 21, 2014 4:47pm IST

By Marc Saxer in Social Europe JournalHow Thailand’s Middle Class Rage Threatens Democracy” on Thursday, 23 January 2014

By William Pesek on Bloomberg Opinion “Thailand Is Only the Tip of Asia’s Iceberg” on Friday, January 24, 2014 5:00 AM GMT+0700

By Pradit Ruangdit in Bangkok Post “Suthep: PDRC is ‘’pro-democracy’’ movement” on Friday, 24 January 2014 at 23.25
© Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved. View Bangkok Post policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip.

By The Sunday Nation Newspaper “Suthep will be arrested soon, should surrender to avoid violence: Chalerm” and “Advance voting to go ahead” on Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 01:00

By Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Anuchit Nguyen in Bloomberg News “Yingluck Rejects Proposal to Delay Feb. 2 Thailand Election” on Tuesday, 28th January 2014 7:03 PM GMT+0700 To contact the reporters on this story: Suttinee Yuvejwattana in Bangkok at suttinee1@bloomberg.net; Anuchit Nguyen in Bangkok at anguyen@bloomberg.net

By David EimerThai red shirts leader says ‘It’s time to get rid of the elite’” on 30 January 2014 at 10:42AM GMT and previously “Anti-government protests escalate in Thailand amid calls for a ‘people’s revolution’” on 26 November 2013 at 12:04PM GMT and “I can back down no further, says Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra” on 10th December 2014 at 9:45PM GMT and  “Thai Prime Minister considers delaying election as anti-government protesters blockade Bangkok” on 13 January 2014 at 12:19PM GMT and “Thai anti-government protesters threaten to kidnap PM” on 14 January 2014 at 3:21PM GMT and

The Shlepp Entertainment / TRI-US Entertainment team has been working hard on developing WWW.FEARCHASER.COM

and the news has leaked out … Read more on what they’ve been up to at Is Ayi Jihu’s Fearchaser™ film the next big thing?

Stay tuned for more…

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” Mahatma Gandhi

On the Road in Yangon

The Road Less Traveled … But not for long!

In a week that saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first Indian Prime Minister visit Burma in a quarter of a century, the previous Indian Head of State being Mahatma Gandhi, and recognized pro-democracy advocate, now a newly appointed Myanmar Government Minister, Aung San Su Kyi taking her first international trip in 24 years, it now seems apparent that long expected development will begin to unfold very rapidly in Myanmar.

However, the road ahead still displays pitfalls and challenges of navigation … Douglas Clayton and the team of experts from Leopard Capital has been intensely studying the region in terms of investment for some time now. This recent interview touches on prevalent risks and the bold moves being made:


Douglas Clayton, CEO Leopard Capital – Investing in Myanmar

Foreign companies have been conducting business in Burma for a long time; even during the ‘dark ages’ the vast natural resources of Myanmar have been eagerly sought. It now appears light will not only emerge from the tunnel, but will become brighter and more consistent …

The Strand Bar - Yangon, Myanmar

Luxury is maintained at The Strand Bar – Yangon, Myanmar – powerful generators out of sight and sound provide back up lighting

With the assistance of new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) being directed to focus on sectors in dire need of development, the Government is now calling on companies to invest into alternative areas and away from natural resources sector. This recent article gives more information: Burma Govt Wants Investment Focus Away from Natural Resources

One of the concerns for corporations and business entrepreneurs in terms of investing into Myanmar has been the historical role of the Burmese military; This may be about to change; Myanmar’s Defense Minister, Hla Min has recently stated that the Government charter is open for this important consideration, thus reducing the military’s role in Government at this progressive time in history.

Myanmar - Yongon Taxis

Buddhist Monks hailing a taxi in Yangon, Myanmar


On a recent vist to Yangon, Myanmar – the country formerly know as Burma – it was clearly evident that the ‘old guard’ is changing rapidly! Myanmar sits at the crossroads of Asia’s great civilizations of India and China, and looks out onto the vast Indian Ocean next to Thailand.
Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda

Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda


One of South East Asia’s largest and most diverse countries, Myanmar stretches from the sparkling islands of the Andaman Sea in the south right up into the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Myanmar offers all the traditional delights of Asia in one fascinating country; virgin jungles, snow-capped mountains and pristine beaches, combined with a rich and glorious heritage spanning more than two thousand years.

Spectacular monuments and ancient cities attest to a vibrant culture that is still home to 135 different ethnic groups. The country’s tourism infrastructure boasts five star properties, intimate boutique hotels and family guest- houses in all the major centers, as well as stunning mountain and beach resorts. Myanmar also boasts one of the lowest tourist crime records in the world, so visitors can rest assured their holiday will be carefree from start to finish.

Myanmar, Yangon Schwedagon Pagoda at night

A recce of some of the hotels and clubs in the downtown area of Yangon revealed a vibrant scene where wealthy locals intermix with high paid expatriates, business travelers and tourists in after hours establishments, which generally close at around 1am. These are distinct from the more traditional KTV, karaoke and singing show venues that are the preference for locals and the younger upwardly mobile generations on rising incomes. There exists ample opportunity to have playing in selected venues.

Investment into the country is booming, and greater changes will transform the capital into a vibrant bustling city … for more on these changes this recent article is worth the read … Burma Needs to Take Stock of the Market.

… More to come on my “In-Roads Insights” … Stay well, keep healthy!

SWOMJamesWith

Swom Swarms

Swim, swimming, swam… and now… ahem… SWOM” …

Taking an avid interest in the power of online social networking, and receiving countless invitations to join or sign up to a new network … my curiosity was peeked a little by the name… SWOM” … enough to read the blurb and sign up to see what might happen… Discovery of a new frontier perhaps? Or … is this another threat to the Facebook Social Network Empire… think Ottoman Empire a regime brought to an end under an imperial monarchy or the Roman Empire a Byzantine Empire, which ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks… Online empires seem to be very fickle and frail by comparison.

Perhaps before joining an online network, ask yourself, would you rather be a member of Linked in having approximately 1/5th of the subscriber base of Facebook, but with infinitely more value in terms of professionalism… and certainly more flexibility with a clear and well managed platform of interconnectivity.

Perhaps if SWOM proves massively successful, it will be bought out… Ah, is that the exit strategy? Or is this a Ponzi scheme? Who would be mad enough after Madoff to attempt to go down that route?

Gold & Silver Outlook 24th March 2011

Gold & Silver 24th March 2011

Commodities seem to be the market plays to watch these days, Gold and Silver are hitting record highs… Maybe the swarms lured by potential GOLD to be made in the rush to mine the SWOM mountains… are excited by that Duh Winning feeling? Charlie Sheen, have you seen this one yet? Just ask James With why his profile was deleted from Wikipedia? You might indeed find answers to these questions and more to come … revealed here soon!

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