– Oscilloscope Laboratories will open Rosemary Myers’ subversive debut feature, “Girl Asleep,” preceded by Amy Nicholson’s delightful, award-winning documentary short, “Pickle,” at Landmark NuArt in Los Angeles on September 23 and at Landmark Sunshine in New York on September 30, with a nationwide rollout to follow. Billed as “a vibrant portrayal of Australian adolescence” the film follows what happens when “Greta Driscoll’s bubble of obscure loserdom is burst [and] her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and invite the whole school! Perfectly content being a wallflower, suddenly Greta’s flung far from her comfort zone into a distant, parallel place.”
– NYC-based film production and theatrical distribution company 26 Aries will release their first theatrical release, Kurt Vincent’s love letter to New York City’s arcade culture, “The Lost Arcade,” starting on August 12 in New York at the Metrograph with a VOD launch in September. The film premiered at the 2015 DOC NYC while going on to play numerous prestigious film festivals around the world, such as the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Melbourne International Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival in London and the San Diego Asian Film Festival.
– Music Box Films has picked up rights to Alon Schwarz and Shaul Schwarz’s documentary “Aida’s Secrets,” which had its world premiere at Hot Docs earlier this year. The film “draws on the family story, in-depth research, archival material, interviews and current day verité, to unravel a mystery that began in a displaced persons’ camp where new identities were acquired and past lives all but buried in the bohemian post war environment that stood on the ruins of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.” Music Box Films plans a national theatrical release and is hoping to push the film for awards consideration.
– FilmBuff has announced that it has licensed the rights to distribute “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life,”on Digital HD and On Demand platforms on August 26, the same day it opens in select theaters and is available on Blu-ray with special features.
From filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, the feel good documentary is an intimate journey through the celebrated life and career of the “Forrest Gump” of the animation industry: Disney legend Floyd Norman. Hired as the first African-American at Disney in 1956, Floyd worked on such classics as “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Jungle Book” and many, many more. At 81, he continues to have an impact as both an artist and a mentor. Mr. Norman plans to “die at the drawing board.”
– Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the North American rights to director Angad Aulakh’s highly anticipated feature debut, “Autumn Lights.” Set against Iceland’s dramatic landscape, the film “delves into themes of obsession and loneliness as seen through the eyes of a stranger in a strange land.” It marks the first independent American-Icelandic co-production in history to have been shot and fully completed in Iceland. The film will premiere with a limited theatrical release on October 21, the same date it debuts on VOD through Freestyle Digital Media.
– In related news, Gravitas Ventures Founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher has also announced the distributor is continuing to expand their team, recently adding three new staff members. In her new role with Gravitas, Laura Florence will lead sales of their titles to on demand and home video platforms. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Sales for Alchemy. In his role, Dan Fisher oversees acquisitions for Gravitas Ventures, setting strategy for identifying and tracking 20-25 annual theatrical releases and 300+ direct to VOD films. Previously, Fisher served as Director of Worldwide Acquisitions at Entertainment One. Also joining the Gravitas team as Acquisitions Manager is Rachel Koehler. She most recently worked with Cinedigm as Manager of Digital Sales and Acquisitions.