Alamo Drafthouse distribution label Drafthouse Films announced today that it has picked up North American rights to two acclaimed films, both of which played at the Drafthouse-hosted Fantastic Fest in Austin in September: The Belgium drama “Bullhead,” which scored the top prize of the Next Wave section at Fantastic Fest, and the Danish raunchy comedy “Clown,” an adaptation of the popular TV show, which won the festival’s inaugural “Comedy” award.
The acquisition of “Bullhead” is especially noteworthy since the film, a seedy tale about the underworld of the cattle farming industry, was selected as Belgium’s official Oscar submission—beating out the Dardenne brothers “The Kid With a Bike.” This marks the first significant move into prestige territory for the young distribution label.
“Clown,” an awkward situational comedy that indieWIRE called “fearless and awesome” about two aging friends on a hedonistic camping trip, is more familiar territory for the company, which released the terrorist comedy “Four Lions” last year.
Drafthouse Films also announced that it has inked a deal with Image Entertainment, Inc. to make its acquisitions available home entertainment platforms in North America. The full release for all three announcements is below.
Santa Monica, CA – Friday, November 4, 2011 – Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, announced today from The American Film Market that it has entered a U.S. distribution deal with Image Entertainment, Inc., a leading licensee and distributor of programming throughout North America, solidifying itself as major player in the independent distribution arena. The exclusive distribution deal will span home video, digital, television and VOD platforms helping to further expand the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand. Drafthouse Films will release both new product and repertory titles as part of the deal with Image Entertainment.
Drafthouse Films also announced today that it has acquired North American rights to award-winning films, the riveting crime drama BULLHEAD, Belgium’s official 2012 Oscar® candidate for Best Foreign Language Film and the outrageous international hit comedy, CLOWN. Michael Roskam’s BULLHEAD is a stunning debut and a harrowing tale of revenge, redemption and fate. The film has played to critical acclaim at Berlin Film Festival, Fantasia and Fantastic Fest and was called “one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in a film this year” (Drew McWeeny, HitFix). Mikkel Nøgaard’s CLOWN has been hailed as “the funniest movie of the year!” (Matt Singer, IFC) and “raunchy, fearless and awesome!” (Eric Kohn, indieWIRE). The uproarious comedy follows two wildly inappropriate friends as they run amok through the Danish countryside plowing through social taboos and unspeakable debaucheries. Also planned for Drafthouse Films in 2012 are the recently announced releases of SXSW ‘11 favorite THE FP and the stunning new RealD™ 3D restoration of ‘80s cult hit COMIN’ AT YA!
As part of their plans to ramp their acquisitions and build the label, Drafthouse Films also made public today it appointed James Emanuel Shapiro, former Executive Director of Sales Planning and Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Entertainment, as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. James has been with the acquisitions and sales planning teams at Anchor Bay Entertainment since 2006 and helped build Anchor Bay Films into a top full service independent distribution company. While at Anchor Bay, James oversaw home video releases on everything from fest favorites like Paul Solet’s GRACE and Raymond De Felitta’s CITY ISLAND to TV content like AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD and the Starz® original SPARTACUS to Overture and The Weinstein Company releases such as LET ME IN, BLUE VALENTINE, and this year’s Best Picture winner THE KING’S SPEECH.
“We are ecstatic about adding BULLHEAD and CLOWN to our growing lineup of films. They perfectly embody the bold and diverse slate that we plan to release under Drafthouse Films, and Image Entertainment is the perfect partner to help us get the broadest possible reach for them,” said Drafthouse Films founder Tim League.
“We are thrilled at being part of Alamo’s expansion,” commented Mark Ward, Vice President of Acquisitions at Image. “It’s going to be a pleasure working with them, releasing product fans will really enjoy.”
The deal is being negotiated by Mark Ward and Jess De Leo, Associate Director of Business and Legal Affairs on behalf of Image; Tim League, Founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Victoria Cook of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz and Liesl Copland of WME Global on behalf of Drafthouse Films.