IndieVest, an independent film studio designed to produce feature films paid for by wealthy individuals, has raised half of a $5 million planned first round of funding, according to VentureWire (sub required).

The round came from undisclosed individuals. The company is now searching for more capital and hopes to close the round next month.

Its seed money comes from Garage Technology Ventures, along with Empire Ventures.

This is the latest in a long list of film-related companies lately, and its unclear what its competitive advantage is. It solicits funding from wealthy folks — with a minimum net worth of $1 million or annual income of $200,000 or more — who want to schmooze with Hollywood stars. In return for their money, these individuals own a stake in the film of their choice.

Here’s how it works, according to the VentureWire report:

Founded in 2004 and based in Los Angeles, IndieVest has formed a securities company to allow individuals an opportunity to invest in movies. For an annual fee of $2,950, members have access to the company’s portfolio of films and can select an investment. For an annual fee of $4,959, members get access to the film portfolio and all the perks the come along with producing a movie — parties, premiers and rubbing elbows with actors and directors.

Members can invest in films in units of $50,000. Films don’t go to production until they are fully funded. Bradley said film production costs will run between $3 million and $10 million. He expects to produce and distribute six films in the next 18 months. IndieVest also charges members a 10% financing fee and takes 10% of the films’ net revenue.

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