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Distributor Profile: Gravitas Ventures

Distributor Profile: Gravitas Ventures

All information published in the indieWIRE Distributor Profiles is provided by the individual company.

Company History

Gravitas Ventures was founded in 2006 by Nolan Gallagher whose entertainment experience includes work at industry leaders Comcast and Warner Bros. Building on eight years of Video on Demand (VOD) experience, Gravitas has become one of the largest suppliers of independent films to the North American cable VOD marketplace. Gravitas was founded specifically to handle VOD deals and we live and breathe it in all its forms: transactional VOD (cable, telco, satellite and online platforms), subscription VOD and ad-sponsored VOD. Currently, Gravitas’ six-person acquisition team works with more than 250 directors, producers and distributors representing more than 3,000 hours of filmed entertainment including narrative features, documentaries and music programming. In 2010, Gravitas will release more than 350 titles into the VOD marketplace.

Company Focus

Types of films in distributor’s slate:
We tend to focus on films with a theatrical release and/or recognizable cast in order to maximize the buy rates of our studio partner Warner Bros. and our 50 cable, satellite, telco and online VOD operator partners. Every year we release about 100 genre films via our Gravitas Horror on Demand offering. We recently announced a new offering with PBS Distribution called Documentaries on Demand which will allow us to bring 100 documentaries to VOD audiences every year.

Advice for filmmakers:
Talk to fellow filmmakers who have worked with a potential distributor and learn their strengths/weaknesses and what their track record is on similar films. Research the benefits and trade-offs between “all rights deals” and “hybrid” or “split rights” deals. Take a long-term view of your film and ask yourself how you want to be involved in distribution decisions one, five or 10 years down the line as technology changes. We here at Gravitas are remarkably candid and transparent in our dealings and tell potential clients “the devil is in the details.” Ask questions and be sure to take notes. The distribution landscape changes every year and you want to find the right fit for you as well as your film.

Quick Stats

Who handles acquisitions:
Generally, every person at Gravitas is involved with evaluating and learning more about individual films from new and existing director and producer partners. Specifically Melanie Miller, former artistic director of the Jackson Hole Film Festival, is our director of acquisitions and Michael Murphy is our senior V.P. of business affairs and they are a great first step to direct submissions. In addition to evaluating films submitted directly by a production company, Gravitas works with a number of DVD distributors, producer representatives and sales agents.

Number of films released theatrically each year:
Every year we handle VOD distribution for 50-plus films that have played theatrically.

Distribution platforms other than theatrical:
Cable, satellite, and telco transactional VOD, online VOD and EST (electronic sell-through), SVOD (subscription VOD), ad-sponsored VOD and DVD.

Number of films released exclusively via VOD/DVD or “alternative” means of release:
400 every year

Number of films acquired at festivals:
Approximately 200-250 of our films play at festivals every year.

Festivals where distributor has acquired films in the last two years:
Films that we have released have played Sundance, SXSW, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Tribeca, Venice, American Film Institute Festival/American Film Market and many other international film festivals.

[For more information, visit the company’s website.]

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