Addressing Inequality: Macro Raises $150M To Produce Film, TV For Multicultural Audiences

Written by Staff

Macro Ventures, a multi-platform media company that recently partnered with Essence TV and Time Inc. Productions, has raised an additional $150 million in equity and debt financing to produce and finance up to six film and TV projects a year.

The company also closed a credit facility arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to Deadline.

The Macro-Essence-Time media partnership is making an impact on Hollywood’s diversity problem — a problem that has come to be symbolized by the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Macro founder Charles D. King is shaping culture by producing content for African American, Latino and multicultural audiences.

One of the investors who contributed to the $150 million is Emerson Collective, led by Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Steve Jobs. Powell Jobs was already a backer of Macro, which launched in January 2015 with an undisclosed eight-figure round, BizJournals reported.

Macro focuses on projects “representing the voice and perspective of persons of color,” according to its website.

From Deadline. Story by Anita Busch.

The new equity includes financing from Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Libra Foundation. The company’s existing investors, in addition to Emerson Collective, include Shanghai/Hong Kong-based MNM Creative, MediaLink, Raymond J. McGuire of Citigroup, Anre D. Williams of American Express and other strategic investors from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the corporate world.

Macro has two films slated for release in November 2017. The first is “Mudbound,” which was directed by Dee Rees starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige and premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. That project, co-financed and produced by the company, was picked up by Netflix for $12.5 million in what ranked as the highest sale of the festival.

The second is the legal drama “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”, written and directed by Dan Gilroy with Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell. Macro and Sony Pictures co-financed.

The Boots Riley-helmed independent feature “Sorry To Bother You” starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen and Armie Hammer (also co-financed by Macro) is planned for a 2018 release.

“With Macro going into its third year, we have seen the initial seeds we planted come to fruition both commercially and critically,” said founder/CEO King. “Our success is proof that our slate is striking a chord with audiences globally. This round of financing provides the capital necessary to build a robust slate of content that authentically represents the multi-faceted spectrum of our communities.”

Projects that the company has in development include collaborations with Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Rick Famuyiwa, Van Jones, Eva Longoria, Michael B. Jordan and Justin Simien.

“We believe in the opportunity impact investing affords us to address the root causes of social inequities by harnessing the power of capital markets,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, President & CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Read more at Deadline.

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