By Brian Brooks | Indiewire November 5, 2005 at 12:12AM
New York-based Magnolia Pictures is officially launching its own home video division the company announced today, revealing the slate for the new unit. The division, called Magnolia Home Entertainment, is headed by home entertainment industry vet Randy Wells who served as vice president of home entertainment at Miramax. The new entity is part of Magnolia parent company 2929 Entertainment's pursuit of a "vertically integrated distribution" plan and will initially release two to four titles per month in its first year. Magnolia Home Entertainment will also handle home video distribution for Magnolia Pictures titles, HDNet Films projects, select projects from HDNet and HDNet Movies, as well as home entertainment acquisitions from outside 2929 Entertainment.
Magnolia Pictures' acclaimed doc "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" by Alex Gibney will be the first film released on January 17th followed by Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble" and Joseph Castelo's terrorism thriller "The War Within" on January 31st. "Bubble" is the first of a six-film package to be directed by Steven Soderbergh that will be shot in high definition and released simultaneously in theatres, on HDNet Movies and on DVD. The new division will manage home video distribution of upcoming Magnolia Pictures theatrical releases including "The World's Fastest Indian" by Roger Donaldson, and Alex Steyermark's "One Last Thing..."
Other films to be released by Magnolia Home Entertainment include Soderbergh's new documentary "Spalding Gray: The Last Monologue"; Gibney's upcoming "Hunter," a look at Hunter S. Thompson, and "Herbie Hancock: Possibilities," which follows the making of Hancock's latest album; Hal Hartley's "Fay Grim," starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum; "Surfwise," a biographical documentary directed by Doug Prey following the life and wisdom of Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz; "S&Man," an exploration of the relationship between voyeurism and horror films by horror director J.T. Petty; the Japanese horror film "Pulse" (aka Kairo); "All Fall Down," starring Anthony LaPaglia and Isabella Rossellini; "Diggers," starring Paul Rudd, Lauren Ambrose, Maura Tierney, Josh Hamilton and Ron Eldard; "Quid Pro Quo," starring Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga; and Lodge Kerrigan's "Keane," starring Damien Lewis.
Completed films on the slate include "Bukowski: Born Into This," the acclaimed documentary about skid row poet Charles Bukowski; "A League of Ordinary Gentleman," a documentary which explores the world of professional bowling; Cate Shortland's debut feature "Somersault," starring Abbie Cornish; Mikael Hafstrom's "Evil"; Shane Meadows's "Dead Man's Shoes" with Paddy Considine; Argentinean comedy "Only Human"; Luc Besson's "District 13, Dead Bodies," starring Andrew Scott and Kelly Reilly; "Klepto," by Thomas Trail starring Meredith Bishop and Jsu Garcia.
Also in the slate are a variety of music, news and entertainment programs from HDNet, including Chick Corea Rendezvous at the Blue Note Live in New York City, True Music, Zippo Hot Tour and special projects from HD Net World Report, all produced in 1080i. Additionally, Magnolia Home Entertainment will release "Easter Island: Mystery and Magic," "Elite," "June," "Justice," "Martin & Orloff," "Nicolas," "Temptation" and "The Wager" in high definition DVD titles from HDNet Movies.
Industry veterans with a varied array of retail, distribution and home entertainment studio experience will staff Magnolia Home Entertainment including Daniel Quantz, director of customer operations; Jay Cohen, director of vendor operations; Christina Mancebo, brand manager; and regional sales managers Renee Brothers, Terry Malone and Bill Marano.
"We are poised to generate buzz with our retailers and their customers with our current line-up of exceptional films and innovative release strategies," said Wells, VP of home entertainment, in a statement. "I look forward to maximizing the performance of our titles and establishing Magnolia Home Entertainment as a force in the marketplace."
Created by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, 2929 Entertainment is a diversified media and entertainment company that owns Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theatres, Rysher Entertainment, and two movie production companies, 2929 Productions and HDNet Films.