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Subject: JVN

ESTech Announces Joint Venture With WonderHill Studios

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- ESTech, a US-based investment and advisory firm, announced today they have signed an MOU with the newly launched film and television production and distribution studio WonderHill Studios (WHS). In October of 2023 WonderHill Studios and ESTech, in direct cooperation with ESTech's strategic partner Silk Road Group SA, will establish a joint venture in the country of Georgia within the film and entertainment space.

The partnership plans to secure significant public and private partnerships with regional Governments and large private companies that will offer a clear pathway for Hollywood studios and indie film producers to utilize local sites, tax credits, studios, local personnel and talent. Beginning at the end of 2023 and throughout 2024, WHS and ESTech consortium plans to bring a number of film projects to Georgia and Kazakhstan valued at over $200M. The combined strength of the two entities brings together a film and entertainment financing consortium that will enhance how Hollywood, and a vast and rapidly growing Eurasian market, can engage with the stunning seaside country of Georgia.

This initiative comes at a critical time for the film industry in the United States and globally with the newly settled writers' strike, the ongoing actors strike, and rising costs of film and TV production. The MOU encompasses a groundbreaking vision for film and television series production, local content creation, and an innovative entertainment financing scheme that will accelerate the film production process. Additionally creating the opportunity for the culturally and historically rich countries in the Mid Corridor and Central Asian regions to enjoy significant visibility in the West and the United States.

This partnership can deliver enormous benefits to the economic development of Georgia and other regional countries through a rapid increase in tourism, significant job creation, new tax revenues and unprecedented global visibility. A perfect example of this is the boost the state of Montana's economy experienced through the production of Taylor Sheridan's blockbuster TV series "Yellowstone" which the co-founders of WHS helped produce. A 2022 study by the University of Montana's Bureau of Business Economic Research revealed that 71% of global visitors had watched Yellowstone leading to estimates that Yellowstone influenced 2.1M visitors to travel to Montana and resulted in $730M in associated spending and $44M tax money into the state's budget.

The upcoming film IMPOSSIBLE DERBY, a fascinating tale of the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, is one of the first projects to be utilizing the regional infrastructure. The film will feature a Kazakh American actress, Ayanat Yesmagambetova who played a nomadic princess in the $40M epic, NOMAD THE WARRIOR produced by Milos Forman and co-directed by Ivan Passer.

In order to ensure production efficiency and provide best conditions for film production, the consortium will partner with large local companies such as Silk Road Group SA. Silk Road Group owns top-tier hotels, as well as works within the hospitality, telecom, mobile, and media and publishing industries. The consortium is also planning to engage with the local Georgian Government to form mutually beneficial partnerships where Georgia will benefit in terms of job creation, exposure to the western film markets, local storytelling and a resultant increase in tourism.

"This East-West entertainment, film and financial consortium is poised to change the way movies and TV series are made. We want film makers to focus on creative part of the movies without carrying a massive economic and financial pressure that limits creativity. The movies made through our consortium will strive to bring back the magnificence and the magic of cinema which is the very essence of the film making," Giorgi Rtskhiladze said

"The film consortium will provide a unique opportunity for the rich culture of Georgian and Central Asian cinema to be introduced to the worldwide audience. A legendary Italian director Federico Fellini who was a big admirer of the Georgian film said it best: 'Georgian film is a completely unique phenomenon, vivid, philosophically inspiring, very wise, childlike. There is everything that can make me cry and I ought to say that it (my crying) is not an easy thing,'" Carr Bettis said.

"As a filmmaker, lover of cinema and studio head, it has always been my dream to bridge the cinematic global universe," said the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of WonderHill Studios, Marvin Peart. "The more stories we tell about diverse audiences using diverse landscapes, will bring us closer together as a global community. And the closer we are as a global community, will bring us closer to peace."

In October 2023 WonderHill Studios and ESTech Consortium will establish a joint venture in Georgia which will spearhead the entire vision of the Consortium.

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