Cinedigm has acquired from TrustNordisk Easy Money: Hard To Kill and Easy Money: Life Deluxe, the thriller that launched the stars of Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa and Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman with the original 2010 Swedish crime noir film. Cinedigm has slated both films for release in 2014 across all platforms including theatrical, digital and physical DVD/BR. Both pics star Kinnaman. “These great Scandinavian thrillers have found a perfect home with Cinedigm as the North American distributor, and we are very happy about the co-operation”, TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis said. Besides the North American deal with Cinedigm, TrustNordisk has so far sold Life Deluxe to more than 35 countries including the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Lumiere), Switzerland (Frenetic), Korea (Sonamu), and Czech Republic/Slovakia (Film Europe). The pic premiered at Busan International Film Festival and market screenings will be held at AFM.
Cinedigm‘s picking up GVE (for Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment) which is a power in distribution of DVDs and Blu-ray discs — and complements Cinedigm’s efforts in theaters and digital. The goal is to make the company “a huge force in the independent content distribution business,” CEO Chris McGurk tells me. GVE has strong relationships with retailers including Walmart and Target, and rights to videos from WWE, NFL, Discovery, Henson, and National Geographic. He says the acquisition will result in higher earnings: The company expects the deal to boost annual cash flow by $15M. It also will add GVE President Bill Sondheim to its executive roster as President of Cinedigm’s Entertainment Group (CEG), reporting to McGurk and COO/CFO Adam Mizel. But Cinedigm had to do a little financial juggling to pay for GVE. It announced a new $55M credit facility, a $5M subordinated 5-year loan facility, $3M of restricted stock ($1M to Gaiam and $2M to “an existing shareholder”), and an underwritten public offering of up to $13M. Some investors apparently want to sit on the sidelines until they see how the public offering will be priced — expected tomorrow. Cinedigm shares fell 7.8% in after hours trading. The company hoped to reassure the market by forecasting “strong financial results” for the second half of its fiscal year with revenues as high as $86M. While it won’t release results for its most recent quarter until next month, Cinedigm …
Cinedigm has acquired North American rights to the Kelly Reichardt-directed Night Moves, which just played Toronto, Venice and Deauville. The film, about environmentalists trying to blow up a hydroelectric dam, stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. Cinedigm is eyeing a spring release. UTA repped the film.
Los Angeles, CA, September 4, 2013 (NASDAQ: CIDM) — Cinedigm announced today that it has partnered with Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, to release a slate of critically-acclaimed films across all home entertainment channels. Platforms will include DVD/Blu-ray, broadcast television, subscription VOD, cable VOD, and digital platforms. Drafthouse Films is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Going forward, Drafthouse plans to release 10-12 films in theaters in 2014. The partnership between Cinedigm and Drafthouse will begin in January 2014 with the pre-theatrical VOD release of SXSW award-winner CHEAP THRILLS, starring Ethan Embry, Pat Healy, and Sara Paxton, followed by a theatrical release in February. Other upcoming films include Ari Folman’s THE CONGRESS, which premiered at Cannes and stars Robin Wright Penn; acclaimed Cannes premiere BORGMAN, and Ben Wheatley’s latest film, A FIELD IN ENGLAND.
In the newly created post, Vincent Scordino will oversee Cinedigm‘s distribution and acquisitions, reporting to Cinedigm Entertainment Group Co-President Susan Margolin. He was VP. Prior to joining Cinedigm last summer, Scordino was with Millennium Films, following stints at Apparation, Picturehouse and Sandra Marsh Management. Cinedigm is in theaters with Our Nixon, Short Term 12 and Afternoon Delight (in partnership with The Film Arcade).
Cinedigm acquired the North American distribution rights to Adventures Of The Penguin King, a documentary produced by Atlantic Productions that tracks the exploits of one King Penguin. The film was shot entirely in 4K 3D, and Cinedigm is planning a multi-platform release this winter. The film follows Rex–a King Penguin voiced by Tim Allen–starting as a young King Penguin living near the remote island of South Georgia also known as “Penguin City,” a sub-Antarctic habitat that plays host to leopard and elephant seals, albatrosses, and six million penguins. After years at sea as a bachelor, Rex’s adventure begins when he ventures to start a family. “King Penguins are surprisingly expressive, full of character, and despite the harsh realities of filming for five months in the remote Antarctic, we were able to capture a moving and irresistibly comic story of one penguin’s challenge to find a mate and raise a chick,” said producer Anthony Geffen.
Cinedigm has inked a deal on the animated CG show The Hive, the youngster franchise catering to the pre-school set aired globally in 150 international markets including Disney Junior. The pact with Hive Enterprises, Bejuba! and Disney Junior covers North American home video, VOD, and digital rights to all 26 half-hour episodes of the series about the Bee Family – Buzzbee, Pappa Bee, Mamma Bee, and Rubee – who live in Honeybee Hive. The show debuted on Disney Junior in 2012. Joester Loria Group reps US licenting with domestic and international brand partners extending across puzzles, iOS and other apps, educational toys, furniture, plush toys, music, and more. Cinedigm will put out three new Hive DVDs on November 5 in addition to a digital release for Season One: A Very Buzzbee Christmas, Buzzbee’s Family Adventures, and Party in Honeybee Hive.
Los Angeles, CA, June 25, 2013 (NASDAQ: CIDM): Demarest Films and Cinedigm today announced they have entered into a co-acquisition and distribution partnership that combines Cinedigm’s full service acquisition and digital distribution and marketing capabilities with Demarest’s deep financing, development, acquisition and production resources to create a new co-acquisition and marketing arrangement that should greatly expand independent film acquisition, marketing and distribution opportunities for both parties.
GKIDS is the indie animation distributor that has had a run of its pics up for Oscars the past few years with The Secret Of Kells (in 2010) and Chico & Rita and A Cat In Paris (both in 2012). The pact with digital distributor Cinedigm expands on the companies’ existing home entertainment partnerships and creates a new multiplatform label, with GKIDS continuing to distribute its films theatrically and Cinedigm handling all other distribution under the GKIDS brand.
The first title in the partnership is From Up On Poppy Hill, the latest from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibl, which is distributed domestically via GKIDS. Poppy Hill, released in the U.S. in March, is directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro and is set in Yokohama in 1963 as Japan picks itself up from the devastation of World War II and prepares to host the Olympics. The English-language voice cast that including Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard and Chris Noth among others. Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy executive produced, and a September 3 home vid release is planned.
UPDATE: Toronto Lands World Premiere Of Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Visitors’, With Cinedigm Aboard As Distributor
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 12:01 AM: : The Toronto Film Festival has set the Godfrey Reggio-directed Visitors to have its world premiere at the festival September 8, in a most splashy manner. The film has an original score by Philip Glass and it is being presented by Steven Soderbergh. While that filmmaker is stepping away from directing features, he’s not done backing them and has been a big supporter of Reggio’s work since Koyaanisqatsi 30 years ago. The Toronto premiere will be presented in 4K digital projection and live accompaniment by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Michael Riesman. The premiere will be held that Sunday at 6 PM at the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre.
Said TIFF Director and CEO Piers Handling: “Reggio’s Visitors is a poignant, powerful film. Coupled with live performance by 65 Members of the TSO, this event is an opportunity for Toronto audiences to be moved and to experience film in a whole new way.”
Of his involvement, Soderbergh told me: “I was a producer on the last Qatsi film but had lost touch with Godfrey and out of the blue I emailed his producer, Lawrence Taub. He told me they were in the last stages of cutting his new movie. They brought me out to Red Hook in Brooklyn to show it to me. I loved it and said, ‘What can I do to help, what do you want?’ They asked if I would be presenter and help them navigate making a distribution deal and finding a foreign sales person and I said, ‘I’m in.’ ”
Los Angeles, CA, May 14, 2013 Cinedigm, the global leader in digital content distribution, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the premier home entertainment company, have entered into a multi-year agreement whereby Universal will provide comprehensive supply-chain services across North America for Cinedigm’s growing DVD and Blu-ray library of independent films, documentaries, TV programs and other content, the two companies announced today. Cinedigm’s existing sales force will continue selling directly to customers. The arrangement encompasses Cinedigm’s library of over 5,000 titles which includes award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films, next-gen indies from Flatiron Film Company and acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film. Cinedigm also distributes many award-winning and Oscar-nominated films including “THE INVISIBLE WAR,” “HELL AND BACK AGAIN,” “GASLAND,” “WASTE LAND,” and “PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY.” Bob Fiorella, Chief Strategy Officer of Cinedigm, negotiated the agreement on Cinedigm’s behalf.
Jill Soloway is having a pretty good year. She won the U.S. Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance in January, and now her feature debut Afternoon Delight has a distributor. The Film Arcade acquired theatrical rights with Cinedigm handling ancillary markets. The dark comedy follows a bored woman (Kathryn Hahn) in an uneventful marriage who hires a stripper (Juno Temple) as her live-in nanny. Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch co-star in the film produced by Jen Chaiken and Sebastian Dungan. “We fell in love with Afternoon Delight at Sundance and look forward to working with Jill, Jen and Sebastian to bring their film to audiences throughout the country,” said The Film Arcade’s Miranda Bailey today in a statement. Before turning to features, Soloway earned three Emmy noms for outstanding drama series as a writer and co-executive of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Her TV credits also include How To Make It In America and United States Of Tara. UTA’s Rena Ronson and Hailey Wierengo and Linda Lichter and Jamie Feldman of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman repped the filmmakers on the deal.
CNN Films and Cinedigm have picked up Our Nixon for TV broadcast and theatrical release this summer. The film of Super 8 home movie footage of Richard Nixon and his administration is set to debut on CNN in August and will be released theatrically by Cinedigm the same month. Directed by Penny Lane, the film consists of footage shot by the 37th President’s top aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin from 1969-1973. Our Nixon had its North American premiere at this year’s SXSW. Production and acquisition unit CNN Films was formed in October and made its debut as a buyer at this year’s Sundance.
This is a fun announcement for the exhibition industry in the lead-up to next week’s CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. Cinedigm and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) say that the company will help more than 100 drive-in movie theatres make the transition from 35 mm celluloid to digital projection. It will work with NATO’s Cinema Buying Group (CBG), which helps independent theater owners. “Cinedigm and NATO’s collaborative efforts – similar to our CBG program for traditional movie theatres — have once again played a significant role in bringing these theatres into the digital age,” says NATO chief John Fithian. For the digital projection to work in drive-ins, the groups needed to team up with the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association and secure some exceptions to the Digital Cinema Initiatives specifications for the technology. It means that “the unique movie-going experience outdoor exhibitors offer will continue for generations to come,” says UDITOA President John Vincent Jr. Cinedigm says it hopes to sign additional drive in theaters next week to preserve what VP Business Affairs Alison Choppelas calls “such an important piece of Americana.”
MIPTV Briefs: A+E UK’s ‘Pawn Stars’; Music Box Takes ‘Generation War’; Cinedigm & ABC; ‘Love/Hate’ Deal; Sweden’s Mexiko; Telenovels Sell
A+E Networks UK’s History channel has set details of its upcoming local version of Pawn Stars. The show will focus on Regal Pawn, a shop near Chester, England. The eight-part series will star Regal’s owner Mark Manning, (aka Big Mark), his daughter Vicki, his best friend Little Mark and Little Mark’s son, Marco. The UK will be the first market to make its own version of the series that will feature distinctly British items. The show airs in the UK this fall and is produced by Leftfield Pictures, the production company behind the original U.S. series which has increased in popularity in Britain since it debuted in 2010.
Music Box has taken U.S. rights on Beta Film’s Generation War, a six-hour miniseries about the fate of young men and women who fought in World War II. The Band Of Brothers-like story is from ZDF, teamWorx and Beta Film and scored record ratings on ZDF with a 24% market share. It also triggered a local debate about personal guilt in WWII. Music Box is planning a theatrical release in major cities across the U.S., followed by TV, VOD and home video. The UK’s Arrow Film picked up all rights as did eOne/Hopscotch in Australia. Directed by Philipp Kadelbach, the production stars Volker Bruch (The Reader), Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Miriam Stein and Ludwig Trepte. Beta Film is selling here at Mip-TV.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC’s ‘The Whale’, International Emmy Awards, Cinedigm In Oz, Channel 5 Acquires ‘The Bible’, & More
Charles Furness Stars In BBC’s ‘The Whale’
Charles Furness stars as Nantucket seafarer Thomas Nickerson and Jonas Armstrong plays first mate Owen Chase in The Whale, based on a tale that inspired Herman Melville’s 1851 classic Moby Dick. The BBC One and Discovery drama will be told through the eyes of cabin boy Nickerson who, at 14, was the youngest member of the crew after his ship was sunk by a whale in 1820. The Whale is executive produced by Eamon Hardy and Ruth Caleb and Mike Dormer and John Chapman are producing. Filming begins this week in Malta.
Cinedigm‘s Docurama distribution arm is relaunching as a multi-platform brand. Armed with a library of over 1,200 nonfiction films, the company today announced plans to screen seven feature length documentaries in theaters in consecutive one-week runs starting April 22: G-Dog (dir. Freida Mock), ¡Vivan Los Antipodas! (dir. Victor Kossakovsky), The World Before Her (dir. Nisha Pahuja), The Fruit Hunters (dir. Yung Chang), Charge (dir. Mark Neale), Ping Pong (dir. Hugh Hartford), and London: The Modern Babylon (dir. Julien Temple). 15 markets are lined up including Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Phoenix, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Ithaca.
Destin Daniel Crettin’s SXSW Grand Jury and Audience Award winner features a breakout turn by Brie Larson as a social worker battling her own demons. Short Term 12 is writer-director Crettin’s sophomore film after the Sundance 2012 selection I Am Not A Hipster. Cinedigm is plotting a late summer theatrical release. The pic also stars Kaitlyn Dever, John Gallagher Jr, Rami Malek, and Keith Stanfield. Maren Olson and Asher Goldstein produced for Traction Media with Joshua Astrachan of Animal Kingdom and Ron Najor. Frederick W. Green, Douglas Stone, and David Kaplan executive produced. Cinedigm’s VP of Theatrical Acquisitions Vincent Scordino negotiated the deal with Traction Media and Cinetic. Cretton is repped by WME, manager Jonathan Hung, and Chad Christopher of SMGSB.