Industry veterans Paul Federbush and Laura Kim are joining forces with investor Ron Stein to launch Red Flag Releasing with their first acquisition, Reed Cowan's "8: The Mormon Proposition" from this year's Sundance Film Festival. The new distribution company has acquired all North American rights to the film in the wake of its Park City debut last month and plans to pursue theatrical and VOD outlets for the release of the documentary this Spring.
Written and directed by Cowan, a former Morman missionary, "8" was produced by Cowan, Emily Pearson, Steven Greenstreet and Christopher Volz and co-directed by Greenstreet and narrated by Dustin Lance Black.
The new company marks the business union of two executives from former Hollywood studio specialty division, Warner Independent Pictures. Former WIP head of acquisitions Paul Federbush and head of marketing and PR Laura Kim have a long track record in releasing indie, specialty and foreign language films. They hope to ramp up to as many as four to six releases annually, starting with perhaps four in their first year. Their partner in the venture, Ron Stein, has been successful in the tech world and has been investing in films, including putting money into Sundance hit "The Kids Are All Right," which Focus Features nabbed at the festival last month.
"Everybody is jumping out of the space right now," Federbush told indieWIRE today from Los Angeles, "It seems like a perfect time to get in." He reiterated that the company will be exploring different release patterns for films. "With VOD and windows compressing, it seems like an exciting time to be in this space and experimenting," Federbush added.
While he is sitting out the Berlinale this year due to previous committments, Federbush reiterated that he'll be looking for films in Cannes, Toronto and other major fests. And he's still eyeing a few films from last month's Sundance Film Festival.
Red Flag Releasing (RFR), was created -- in the words of an official announcement today -- "out of a desire to create new paths and opportunities for independent filmmakers in this age of ubiquitous technological change." The company reiterated, in their Wednesday release, that they will, "operate with agility and innovation, taking advantage of every available platform to customize a release that is organic to the needs of each film."
RFR intends to acquire completed films at festivals in its first year, and also pursue projects for which it can provide finishing funds. The new outfit will not shy away from politically themed or issue oriented movies, Federbush said today. Yet, they certainly don't want to be pigeon-holed. He added that the company will grow organically, is well capitalized and will pursue releases with breakout potential. They are working with Ron Stein to raise additional capital to support the future growth of the new company.
IP Advisors and WME Global negotiated the "8" sale on behalf of the filmmakers with Paul Federbush from Red Flag.
Reporting on the Prop. 8 doc at its Sundance debut last month, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt called the movie flawed, but noted that it packed an emotional punch in Park City, stirring cheers and tears at its debut. RFR intends to capitalize on the inherent interest in the film as they roll it out in theaters and on VOD this Spring.