Dustin Smith has been hired as VP of Theatrical Distribution to oversee Gravitas Theatrical. Gravitas Ventures says it will release 12 films a year under the new division, starting with Matthew Saville’s thriller Felony. Gravitas Ventures founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher announced the move today on the eve of the 2014 Sundance Film Fest. Smith will primarily be responsible for developing the distribution and marketing strategy for Gravitas’ theatrical releases, booking global, attending film fests and advising on acquisitions. Smith will report to Michael Murphy, President of Gravitas.
Smith joins Gravitas after nearly a decade at Roadside Attractions where he most recently served as VP, Acquisitions and Business Affairs. While at Roadside, Smith oversaw the acquisition and release of Winter’s Bone, and also worked on such releases as All Is Lost, Stories We Tell, Mud and The Cove.
Los Angeles, CA (August 29, 2013) – Gravitas Ventures has acquired all North American rights to Laurie Collyer’s SUNLIGHT JR., starring Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts, Norman Reedus, and Academy Award® nominee Matt Dillon. Gravitas will partner with Samuel Goldwyn Films for the release. The film will have a pre-theatrical VoD opening and will then be released in theaters November 2013. SUNLIGHT JR. recently played to critical acclaim in competition at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. SUNLIGHT JR. spotlights hard-working convenience store clerk Melissa (Naomi Watts) and her disabled boyfriend, Richie (Matt Dillon), who are trapped in a generational cycle of poverty. Their luck may be changing when they learn that Melissa has become pregnant. But as soon as she loses her job and they get evicted from the motel they live in, their joy vanishes. Through this adversity, the couple realizes that they can never lose everything as long as they have each other.
Gravitas Ventures has picked up NA rights to Joel Allen Schroeder’s Dear Mr. Watterson, the documentary chronicling the impact of author and illustrator Bill Watterson and his Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. The daily toon ran in syndication from 1985 to 1995 when Watterson ended its run on New Year’s Eve. Still, the globally popular adventures of a young boy and his stuffed tiger lived on in bestselling hardcover and paperback collections as Watterson kept it away from potentially lucrative licensing deals, protecting the property as he did his own privacy in retirement. Dear Mr. Watterson dives into the Calvin & Hobbes legacy with interviews with fans and illustrators alike, including Berkeley Breathed (Bloom County), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) and Seth Green (Robot Chicken and Family Guy).
Among the more interesting new paid YouTube channels of the 30 unveiled today are the ones belonging to indie film distributors leading the charge into untested digital and outside-the-box models. Cinedigm relaunched their Docurama brand in April with a library of 1,250 documentary features, also plotting a streaming app for launch this spring which would make more than 150 Docurama titles available for free on multiple devices. Their new curated Docurama YouTube channel could similarly boost digital niche moviewatching and carve a path for other distributors and filmmakers exploring alternative distribution online. For $2.99 a month, users will get access to Docurama’s playlist of docu features and bonus materials refreshed each week, with 25% of those feature offerings being new or recent releases. (All of YouTube’s new premium channels will first launch with a 14-day free trial.) The ambitious growth plan set in motion last year under Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk so far has also included a plan to help outfit drive-in theaters with digital projectors and last month’s Arthur Newman BitTorrent experiment.
The deal with MonteCristo International for theatrical and digital rights to the pic written and directed by Michael Taverna will see Apartment 1303 3D debut on VOD on June 17, followed by a July 25 theatrical release in 20 …
Gravitas Ventures has acquired digital rights to Slamdance favorite Jug Face, with a VOD release planned for July. The horror/thriller concerns a demonic power worshipped by an isolated rural community that offers health and protection in exchange for human sacrifices, …
Gravitas Ventures announced today the acquisitions of three raucous Slamdance films: Steven Feinartz’s documentary The Bitter Buddha, Michael Urie’s comedy He’s Way More Famous Than You and Peter Baxter’s documentary Wild In The Streets. As part of the arrangement, each film will be released in the next three months in over 100 million North American Video On Demand homes.