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If you control the underlying rights to a marketable screenplay, book, published article or similar property (collectively, the “Property”) and are seeking funds in order to further develop the Property as a theatrical motion picture or scripted TV series, and you have not yet taken the proposed project to the Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) stage, the Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund (SHSWFIF) views this situation as a unique opportunity.

In order to qualify for Development Financing consideration, the Property must first be free of any and all legal encumbrances and the Property’s owner (“Owner”) must also meet at least one of the following conditions: (i) Owner is a “name talent” (i.e., a writer, producer, director or actor who can mitigate risk based on their name alone) with a proven, verifiable track record; (ii) Owner has officially “attached” one or more such name talent to the Property; (iii) Owner controls the exclusive rights to a best-selling book, book series or famous personality’s life story; and/or (iv) Owner can bring a significant amount of verifiable equity to the Property and is currently seeking so-called “matching funds”.

SHSWFIF’s current cap for Development Financing is $2MM. Development funds for approved submissions may be used to adapt qualified Properties to the professional screenplay or teleplay and series bible format, or to clear any outstanding movie rights to such works (including life story rights, if applicable). It can also be used to hire or retain essential personnel, such as an entertainment attorney, casting agent, and/or a professional line producer to perform a breakdown of the script and draft a preliminary production schedule and line item budget. Funding for development is intended to kick start a motion picture or TV project, while gaining early control over a Property that exhibits exceptional creative and commercial potential.

In additional to providing Development Financing, in certain select instances SHSWFIF may consider optioning an existing Property deemed eligible for further development and production in its sole discretion. Such Properties must be eligible to commence production within 24 months of the execution of an option agreement.

Development Financing Submission Check List

In order for a film to be considered for Development Financing, the following materials must be provided to SHSWFIF electronically (PDF files preferred) by the Owner of the Property at the time of submission so that it can be thoroughly vetted:

  1. A copy of the completed U.S. Copyrighted screenplay, teleplay or manuscript;

  2. The Property’s synopsis and/or logline;

  3. The Owner’s proposed budget and use of funds for further development of the Property;

  4. A detailed list of the project’s current attachments with links to the proposed talents’ current IMDbPro pages;

  5. If the submission is unsolicited, a signed copy of SHSWFIF’s Idea Submission Form.


Other materials that may be requested by SHSWFIF in its sole discretion may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. The Property’s “chain-of-title”, including a legal opinion letter from Owner’s attorney;

  2. The project’s executive summary and/or motion picture project overview;

  3. Copies of any and all third party agreements the Owner has caused to be executed to date, including but not limited to any option agreements;

  4. Copies of any and all signed letters of intent (LOI’s) from prospective above-the-line (ATL) talent;

  5. Owner’s so-called “wish list” for proposed ATL talent and/or BTL personnel; and

  6. Any other relevant items the Owner believes may assist SHSWFIF in determining the creative and commercial viability of the submission.

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