EXCLUSIVE: Producers Distribution Agency has signed on to release the SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary Brooklyn Castle. PDA is the releasing arm hatched by Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Bart Walker that selectively takes on art house fare. Brooklyn Castle marks its fourth release, after the successful docus Senna and Exit Through The Gift Shop and the Emilio Estevez-directed drama The Way. Brooklyn Castle will be released October 19, and once again, Abramorama’s Richard Abramowitz and Bond Strategy’s Marc Schiller will guide the marketing and distribution of the Katie Dallamaggiore-directed film.
When Emilio Estevez launched The Way at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, reaction was encouraging for the film he directed and which stars his father, Martin Sheen, as a grieving dad who walks The Camino de Santiago to honor his dead son. The movie’s good, but it is also the kind of well-intentioned picture that often slips through the cracks. Estevez has found a way to escape the straight-to-DVD fate that befalls many such films. He and Elixir Films’ David Alexanian have partnered with John Sloss and Bart Walker’s Producers Distribution Agency and Trevor Drinkwater’s ARC Entertainment to open the film exclusively in AMC Theaters in 15 markets on Oct. 7 for its first week, before broadening to 15 markets the following week and then expanding to 500 screens across the country.
The release will be overseen by a team of distribution vets that includes Dennis Rice, Richard Abramowitz and Cynthia Swartz. Appropriate for a film about a road trip, Estevez and Sheen will conduct a bus tour for eight weeks prior to the film’s wide release to drum up awareness. They’ll be gassing up the bus for a late August start.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the Rodman Flender-directed documentary about the chat host’s 32 city music and comedy tour undertaken after he took a $30 million payout to leave The Tonight Show, has wrapped a distribution deal in a multi-platform acquisition and distribution deal. AT&T is in as a P&A and distribution and marketing partner, and it will sneak the film to AT&T U-verse TV subscribers on the eve of the film’s theatrical release. Abramorama, the consulting company headed by indie distribution vet Richard Abramowitz, will steer theatrical distribution. Magnolia Home Entertainment acquired the remaining VOD and home entertainment rights in a deal brokered by WME Global, right after the film made its debut at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
It’s the second SXSW deal of the day for WME, after brokering one with The Weinstein Company for the documentary Undefeated. O’Brien started the wheels moving on a documentary about his days in talk show absentia right after he was removed from Tonight Show duty a year ago. Unable to go on TV, he grew a beard and toured the country with the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, a musical and comedy act that gave O’Brien the chance to test his chops as a musical artist, and tell a lot of jokes at the expense of NBC. I saw a performance at Radio City and while I wouldn’t suggest O’Brien give up his day job to sing …