Wolfe Launches Theatrical Division with Two New Films Debuting at Outfest
by Eugene Hernandez
Wolfe Video, a leading distributor of gay and lesbian home entertainment, is making the leap into theatrical distribution with the launch of a new division to handle releases. Wolfe president Maria Lynn has tapped consultant Orly Ravid to oversee the theatrical arm and the outfit has secured two initial titles for its theatrical slate: Marco Filiberti’s “A Little More Than a Year Ago” and Brad Fraser’s “Leaving Metropolis.” Both films are set to screen at Outfest in Los Angeles which opens tonight (Thursday).
Filiberti’s first feature, “Year” is having its U.S. premiere at Outfest in Los Angeles following its world premiere in Berlin back in February. In the film, writer/director Filiberti stars as a gay Italian porn star who reunites with his older brother after the death of his father. The company pegged the project at the market in Cannes back in May and plans to release the movie in 20 markets during the first quarter of 2004.
“Metropolis” is the first feature from Fraser who wrote the screenplay for Denys Arcand’s “Love and Human Remains” and served as executive story editor for the Showtime series “Queer as Folk.” The story of of an artist who embarks on a love affair with a man who is married (to a woman) will screen at Outfest on Monday and Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Calling the move into theatrical distributoin a “natural extension” of her business, Lynn told indieWIRE Wednesday that this has been a long planned expansion for the company. Other theatrical deals will be announced later this summer.
“Every filmmaker wants their film shown on the big screen,” admitted Maria Lynn in the conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, “But not every film can support a theaterical release.” With her company’s new division, she hopes to find films that make sense theatrically and market them through the large audience she has developed via her home video and DVD business.
Launched in 1985, Wolfe Video’s releases have included “Big Eden,” “Speedway Junky,” “Lilies,” “Chutney Popcorn” and “Salmonberries.” The company is headed by president Lynn and CEO Kathy Wolfe and based in New Almaden in Northern California.
“This is a really charming gay film,” Orly Ravid told indieWIRE yesteday (Wednesday), referring to Filiberti’s feature. “And it has a sexy boy in it,” she laughed, “That aways helps.” However, Ravid indicated that she sees a wider audience for the foreign language picture and will market the movie to an Italian audience.”
Consultant Ravid, who recently handled the release of the controversial French film “Baise-Moi,” is also consulting on the MAC release of “Prey for Rock and Roll.” She has been working with Wolfe on acquisitions and marketing for more than a year and is currently on the board of L.A.’s Outfest.
“The market is expanding,” Ravid told indieWIRE, when asked about the current state of queer cinema. “People are coming out at a younger age, making it more visible – there is more room for more cinema.” Yet she sees the types of stories being told broadening.
“There is always going to be a place for the coming out story,” explained Ravid, “But there is also a lot more going on — there is gay content and gay plots that are not exclusively gay.” She added “They may be more inetetsting on one level and they may be more of a challenge to market.”
“The gay audience has a lot of movies (available to them),” she concluded. With greater gay representation in television and movies, she added, “They are not as desperate to see the gay image on screen — it’s now up to us to be more selective in the films we choose, and market them honestly.”