Joseph Cohen Launches MRAA Asian Entertainment Investment Firm

Hollywood producer and financier Joseph Cohen (“Brokeback Mountain,” “12 Years A Slave,” “Sicario,” “La La Land”) is launching a new company in Hong Kong called MediaRealm Advisors Asia. It will provide consulting services to Asia-based institutional and professional investors looking to invest in American Entertainment Investors mainstream Hollywood movie projects.

He is joined in the venture by Hong Kong and Tokyo based Adam Guy Orlebar Garrett. Orlebar is currently chief investment officer at New Asia Ferrell Asset Management, where he manages several media funds, including a smaller local language Asia genre fund for high-net wealth individuals, and a larger Hollywood-Asia genre fund for institutional investors. As part of the deal, Orlebar is bringing his larger Hollywood-Asia film slate to MRAA.

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AEI was founded in Los Angeles by Cohen in 1996 to advise both institutional and individual investors who want to invest in the media space and to incubate the companies they finance. The firm caters to all types of investors including senior debt, junior mezzanine debt and equity investors.

AEI has recently separated its production and financing businesses into two new separate entities, which will be announced publicly later this year.

“I really believe you can make money investing in movies on a systematic basis, but you have to be incredibly selective, incredibly careful and apply rigorous underwriting standards. At AEI over the past nearly three decades we’ve developed a number of proven criteria that need to be met before we’re ever willing to deploy our investors’ capital to ensure their risks are minimized and to maximize their expected returns,” said Cohen.

“The opportunities are definitely there. In addition to the quality projects [Orlebar] is currently packaging for us from Japan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, I remain extremely bullish about the opportunities with prospective partners in China. There remain pools of Chinese capital aggressively looking to partner internationally, as well as high-profile international films that can be partially or largely shot in China. Plus, there are generous programs of incentives in certain parts of the country which lend themselves to huge special-effects films, say. Not only China, but India is another area where we are actively looking for suitable producer partners for local remakes of some of our past Hollywood hits.”

“Jointly setting up MediaRealm Advisors Asia (MRAA) not only allows the larger movie slate I’ve put together to tap into AEI’s tremendous expertise, but also allows us to easily bring awareness of AEI’s own existing high quality movie projects from Hollywood to investors across Asia too,” said Orlebar.

The Hollywood-Asia slate Adam is bringing to AEI includes three movies which are currently being packaged and seeking investment.

“Sentinels” is a high concept, live-action adaptation of Australia-based fantasy artist Patrick J. Jones’ action sci-fi novel about a diversified band of mercenaries invading an alien planet.

Also on the slate is “Shi,” an authentically grounded live-action martial arts adaptation from Hollywood producer Mimi Polk Gitlin “Black Rain”) of comic artist Billy Tucci’s cult series of comics about a Japanese warrioress in New York; and “Tomoe Gozen,” a live-action epic historical war biopic trilogy, adapted from Singaporean Jeremy Han’s novel, covering the late 12th century Genpei War period in Japan.

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