Company announces raise of $150M content fund; first project will be film adaptation of bestselling book “Just Mercy”

Today veteran film producer and criminal justice reform activist Scott Budnick (“The Hangover” movies, “Old School”) announced the launch of Good Films, an independent social impact film and TV production company dedicated to effecting positive social change throughout the world.  Good Films is in the process of raising a $150M content fund with Endeavor Content as the lead investor. 

Budnick will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Good Films, while leading entertainment and media finance expert Roy Salter will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board and Investment Committee. 

The new venture aims to unite the divided efforts of the entertainment, philanthropic and legislative communities by coordinating the production, promotion and distribution of film and TV programs supported by Good Films with the philanthropic and legislative efforts of its partners to create maximum social impact.  This is the first time a media company has been formed that will bring the worlds of content, philanthropy and legislation together under one umbrella. 

“Sitting back and watching the breathtaking marriage equality movement, I was amazed at the impact of ‘Will and Grace,’ ‘Ellen’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ whose messages, alongside fierce advocates, played an enormous role in affecting so many lives,” said Budnick. “Good Films will co-finance storytelling in all mediums to be used as a catalyst in changing the hearts and minds of our global community, around all issues of inequality and injustice. We want to move the needle, not just in how people feel and think, but how they vote, and the morals and values of who they elect. To improve the lives of our neighbors and citizens is not an issue of political party or persuasion, but one of shared humanity.”

“We began our relationship with Scott and Roy as advisors and decided to invest in Good Films because there is both a business and moral imperative to finance social impact content and to leverage the Endeavor Content platform to engage communities,” said Endeavor Content Co-Presidents Graham Taylor and Chris Rice.  

Good Films will partner with leading production companies and studios, respected endowments and philanthropies, and celebrities committed to positive social change. Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal sit on Budnick’s philanthropic board at The Anti Recidivism Coalition, while Budnick has worked closely on prison reform and related social justice issues with Patty Jenkins, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Common, Harry Belafonte and Allison Williams. Many will serve as Good Films ambassadors and production partners.

"I've worked closely with Scott on criminal justice reform.  I've witnessed firsthand his passion for lifting up the voices of those who are often unheard,” said John Legend.  “I'm excited about Good Films and their commitment to utilize their fund to partner with my production company on film and television projects that can help shine a light on issues that need to be brought to the forefront."

“Since I’ve gotten to know Scott,  I’ve never seen anyone so truthfully put their money where their mouth is,” said Patty Jenkins.  Scott walks the walk, artfully balancing his commitment to philanthropic work with a vibrant filmmaking career.  He understands and respects the power of storytelling and is humbled by its responsibility.  That combination makes him the ideal person to lead a company like Good  Films, and I look forward to partnering with him on future projects that bring important causes to the screen.”

The focus of the content will touch all issues of inequality, which include social and racial justice, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, woman and girls equality, education reform, poverty, and all issues affecting children in need.   

The first project under the new banner is the film adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson.  Good Films’ will co-finance with Warner Bros. which optioned the book last year with Michael B. Jordan attached to star, Destin Cretton directing and Gil Netter producing. The story recounts Stevenson’s experience as a lawyer and his fight for criminal justice reform.

Good Films will be based in Los Angeles, CA.