Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Like last week, a number of Specialty offerings are seemingly undeterred to go up against some of the biggest Summer juggernauts. Narratives and features will open in limited release going up against World War Z and Monsters University. The Weinstein Company will debut its Terence Stamp/Vanessa Redgrave starrer Unfinished Song, while Monterey Media will open Between Us from Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish. Magnolia will release Danish-produced drama/thriller A Hijacking, while fellow foreign release The Attack from Cohen Media Group will also begin its run Friday. Joining the fray are two docs. Samuel Goldwyn Films is organizing wine tastings and more along with its new roll out, Somm. And Abramorama will open Downloaded featuring heavy-hitters from the music biz.
Director-writer: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Barry Martin, Anne Reid
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
TWC came on board Paul Andrew Williams’ Unfinished Song while it was still completing production. The comedy/drama revolves around a grumpy pensioner who honors his recently deceased wife’s passion for performing by joining the unconventional local choir to which she used to belong, a process that helps him build bridges with his estranged son, James. “It has an older audience but it plays to a younger one if we can get them in,” noted TWC’s president of Theatrical Distribution, Erik Lomis. Read More »
Alex Winter’s documentary about the rise and fall of Napster will open at Manhattan’s Village East Cinema on Friday, June 21 and the Sundance Sunset Cinemas in Los Angeles on June 28, VH1 announced today. Focusing on Napster and its founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, Downloaded examines the rise of digital media sharing and “VH1 is so proud of this timely project, and we want to showcase it in as many ways as possible,” said Brad Abramson, Vice President, Programming and Production, VH1 in a statement today. This comes on the heels of VH1′s distribution deal with AOL. Additional theatrical bookings for Downloaded are scheduled for Albuquerque, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as other cities to be announced, in partnership with specialty distributor Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama. On July 1, the film will debut on several On Demand platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and XBOX, in partnership with digital entertainment curator FilmBuff. Produced by VH1 for its rockDocs series, Downloaded premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Following the theatrical and On Demand windows, VH1 will air the film, most likely in 2014. Downloaded is written, directed and executive produced by Alex Winter and executive produced by Maggie Malina.
EXCLUSIVE: Alex Winter’s documentary about about the rise and fall of Napster has a new online home. AOL will be making Downloaded available to visitors to its on.aol.com via streaming later this year. This is the portal’s first foray into longform streaming as a part of the distribution deal between the brand company and VH1, which is showing the film theatrically. Downloaded will be on AOL after its big-screen release this summer by the Viacom-owned broadcaster’s VH1 Rock Docs in partnership with Cinetic Media and Richard Abramowitz. The film on the legacy of file sharing pioneer premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Downloaded will also be on Cable VOD and iTunes later this year as well. “We sold the film to AOL at SXSW,” ,” Winter told me. “Cinetic’s John Sloss, VH1 and I made a deal with our partners that focused heavily on digital/streaming and still gives us room for theatrical and CVOD. It’s a new frontier for distributing movies, and the Internet is finally monetizing in a way that can work for everyone.” The film was directed and executive produced by Winter and executive produced by Maggie Malina. Executive producers for VH1 are Brad Abramson, Warren Cohen, Rick Krim, Bill Flanagan, Shelly Tatro, and Jeff Olde
The 2013 SXSW Film Festival announces its complete feature line-up for this year on Thursday but we already know that Downloaded is going to one of them. The festival announced earlier this month that documentary would make its world premiere in Austin during the March 8 – 16 event. Directed by Bill and Ted alumni Alex Winter, Downloaded examines the rise, fall and legacy of file sharing pioneer Napster. Check out the trailer: