TLA Announces U.K. Division, DVD Arrangement with here! Networks and Staff Additions
by Brian Brooks
Sporting a new logo, and announcing a round of new staff appointments, a deal with here! Networks and a new U.K. label, TLA Releasing unveiled its plans ahead of the VSDA's Home Entertainment 2005, the annual convention for the home entertainment industry, which begins today (Tuesday) in Las Vegas.
TLA Releasing is nearing completion of work on the official launch of its newest division, TLA Releasing UK. According to a company release, TLA became familiar with the British DVD market via its association with Tartan Films, when it was selected to be the British film company's distributor for its American division, and considered the U.K. market "underserved" with respect to gay and foreign-language content. The new label will officially open September 26 with the release of C. Jay Cox's L.A. romance "Latter Days," David Moreton and Todd Stephens' coming out film "Edge of Seventeen," and Canadian comedy "Everyone" by Bill Marchant. Other planned titles slated for release by the division include "Regular Guys" (Germany), "Yossi and Jagger" (Israel), "Cowboys and Angels" (Ireland), "Bear Cub" (Spain), and from the U.S., "The Trip," "PS Your Cat is Dead," and "Slutty Summer."
American gay television network here! has selected TLA to distribute its top summer DVD releases. here! Networks titles designated for release under the new arrangement include Christopher Long's doc on porn star Colton Ford, "Naked Fame," Thai kickboxing feature "Beautiful Boxer," comedy "Sex, Politics and Cocktails," and Richard Day's adaptation of an Off-Broadway comedy, "Straight Jacket."
Leading the list of staff additions at TLA is John Rayser, who has been named to the new position of managing director. Most recently a regional sales manager of MGM Home Entertainment, Rayser will oversee the label's sales team and manage its operations. He will work to expand develop the current customer base, help with the creation of release sales campaigns and oversee TLA's relationships with major partners and clients as Tartan Video.
After the arrival of Rayser, the current executive director of sales Richard Ross' position will be expanded to include a more active role in film acquisition and management of TLA UK. Andrew Chang, who joined TLA as its second booking agent earlier this year (joining Jennifer Arndt-Johns), will book TLA Releasing titles into American and international film festivals. He also works on acquisitions for TLA's International Film Festival series and through TLA's sponsorship of the Philadelphia Film Society, books films for the Philadelphia International Film Festival, and the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Joining the team in the sales area are Roberta Garland (formerly of New Line Home Video) and entertainment biz newcomer Alex Jackson. Adam Schoon has also been hired to support production manager Kelly Burkhardt.