Bobby Paunescu and Jared Underwood’s Solar Entertainment Group has allied with Romanian entrepreneur Dragos Savulescu to launch Solar Studios in Bucharest.
The partnership, announced in Cannes, provides for Solar to take over Savalescu’s Kentauros Studios and align with Paunescu’s Mandragora Studios, which are also in Bucharest. Viorel Sergovici, a member of the European Film Academy and Romanian Society of Cinematographers, has been appointed to run the day-to-day operations of Solar Studios.
The companies said combining the facilities will creates a “world-class” studio for production of feature films, TV series, commercials, and music videos along with production services, sound stages and expansive back-lots.
Solar Entertainment said that production will be augmented by production entity Solar Pictures, financing arm Solar Media Capital and banking services-advisory unit Solar Entertainment HLB. “Solar Studios will take advantage of the highly skilled Romanian crews, locations, labor and impressive set constructions at a fraction of a typical North American budget,” said Sergovici.
The formation of Solar Studios also makes Savulescu an SEG stakeholder alongside Edward Lawson Johnston, founder of the merchant bank LJ Group; the New York-based Shu family; Paunescu and former Comerica exec Underwood. Until last year, Savulescu was owner of the FC Dinamo football team.
Solar Pictures launched in April 2012 with the goal of producing four to five movies a year with budgets up to $40 million. Los Angeles-based Solar announced during Berlin that it had come on board the thriller “Samarkand,” starring Tom Hardy.