MACRO, the multi-platform media company founded in 2015 by African American media mogul, Charles D. King, has raised US$150 million in equity and debt financing to produce films and TV projects with a multicultural slant.
Commenting on the success of the funding, King said: “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.”
The financing, which comes from Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, The Libra Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will enable MACRO to produce between four and six films and television projects annually.
Macro’s first major studio feature, Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, grossed over $64 million and won a myriad of nominations including Golden Globe and Academy Award wins for Viola Davis.
“Our success is proof that our slate is striking a chord with audiences globally,” added King.
King says that the advantage of being an independent film producer means that Macro doesn’t have an output deal with one studio. “There is a lot of freedom in that,” he says. “We are able to develop the stories that we’re excited about and work with the creators and the producers that we’re passionate about working with. We’re not curating a slate for a particular buyer.”
Furthermore, King said: “One of my goals is to dispel this notion that movies that have people of colour in them won’t work. Because it’s just not true. I saw it firsthand with so many of the artists that I worked with over the years, who when they travel internationally, they’re mobbed and could not be more embraced around the world.”
King, (47) spent more than 15 years at William Morris Agency (now called William Morris Endeavor), working his way up from the mailroom to become the agency’s first black partner in the firm’s 119-year history. He went on to work with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Janelle Monáe and Lin-Manuel Miranda.