ContentFilm and Image Partner for Genre Pictures
by Eugene Hernandez
ContentFilm has announced a partnership with Image Entertainment to produce, finance, and distribute a slate of up to four genre films each year, aiming the movies at a theatrical release followed by DVD distribution. ContentFilm will produce the projects and sell them through Content International, branded under a new company label and they are not ruling out the acquisition of finished films as part of the initiative. Content co-CEO John Schmidt told indieWIRE yesterday that the first project would be announced soon and production will begin in the coming months.
"We have always had an eye out for original, theatrically driven projects that have good video value (and) a strong genre identity," Schmidt told indieWIRE. Image Sr. VP of acquisitions Barry Gordon said yesterday that the deal is part of a company plan to give Image access to the theatrical business, as well as international markets. The two told indieWIRE that they see an opportunity in the marketplace created by the recent merger of Lions Gate and Artisan. "We want to fill that void in the marketplace," Gordon told indieWIRE, "That is a big part of our strategy."
Schmidt and Gordon explained that they are looking for a partner to handle the theatrical distribution of the new projects, likening the infrastructure of their partnership to that of a modern "mini-studio system."
Explaining the types of movies that will fit into this effort, Schmidt noted that they are seeking projects that will have strong video/DVD potential, namely, in his words, "Classic genre material, influenced by a certain amount of originality and talent in terms of the directing." He added that the movies would be "low to mid-budget projects" that could include other partners. Asked to name a few previous films that might fit the bill, Schmidt noted movies like Brian De Palma's "Sister" and "Phantom of the Paradise" or the recent ContentFilm project "Love Object."