Music Drama ‘Broken Poet’ Coming to Digital HD May 15 From Virgil

The music drama Broken Poet will come out on digital HD May 15 from Virgil Films and Entertainment exclusively through music site Backstreets.com.

The site boasts a large fan base for Bruce Springsteen, who has a cameo in the film.

“On Broken Poet we are experimenting with going direct to the actual fan base, releasing before the national release,” said Virgil president and CEO Joe Amodei. “Backstreets.com is the go-to for every Springsteen fan, so we were lucky to get to work with them on the release and offer the exclusive.”

The film will have a wider digital release in the summer.

Broken Poet is the story of the 1970s rock star Jake Lion, who is presumed dead in Paris until a former roadie happens to be riding in the Paris Metro 40 years after his much-publicized suicide and hears an aged street musician who sounds just like him. Rolling Stone sends a rock journalist to investigate, and she uncovered something unexpected.

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Directed by Emilio J. Ruiz, the film stars Elliot Murphy, Joanna Preiss and Marisa Berenson.

Broken Poet – Backstreets Exclusive from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘Code Blue’ Coming to Digital HD May 26, DVD June 9 From Virgil

The documentary Code Blue, about improving the medical system, will come out on digital HD May 26 and DVD June 9 from Virgil Films.

Through the lens of filmmaker Marcia Machado, Code Blue reveals lapses in the current state of medicine and provides a common-sense solution by featuring the practice of lifestyle medicine to prevent, manage and reverse chronic diseases. Seven of the top 10 causes of death in America are chronic diseases, two of which, heart disease and cancer, account for nearly 50% of all deaths. U.S. health care costs are approaching $3 trillion per year with 86% of these dollars utilized to manage chronic illness. Peer reviewed medical studies illustrate amending lifestyle behaviors, including diet, physical activity, cigarette smoking and body weight, can prevent nearly 80% of chronic diseases.

The film presents the hurdles faced to the proposed shift: antiquated curricula in medical schools, confusion in the media, inadequate government policies, and the underlying influences of the pharmaceutical and food industries.

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Code Blue follows a passionate physician, Dr. Saray Stancic, as she reflects upon her journey from a multiple sclerosis diagnosis to wellness through her own adoption of lifestyle medicine. Dr. Stancic introduces viewers to expert physicians and scientists who are paving the way to make change in our healthcare environment.

SS_CodeBlue TRAILER NEW 111419 from Saray Stancic on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘The Starfish’ Coming to Digital HD May 5 From Virgil

The documentary The Starfish will come out on digital HD May 5 from Virgil Films.

The Starfish is the true story of a German-Jewish boy whose life was forever altered at the age of 10, when his parents sent him and his two older sisters to live with non-Jewish families in Sweden to escape Nazi persecution. After living in Sweden for two years, Herb Gildin and his sisters journeyed across Russia and the Pacific to be reunited with their parents as refugees in America.

Focused on building his lighting business rather than dwelling on the past, decades went by before Herb told his wife and children about his childhood, resulting in one last journey back to Sweden to attempt to reunite with the remaining family members who had taken him in 60 years earlier.

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The Starfish from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

Musical Stage Show ‘Jesus’ Due on Digital HD and DVD May 15 From Virgil

Sight & Sound Theatres’ Jesus, filmed in front of a live audience, will come out on digital HD and DVD May 15 from Virgil Films and Entertainment.

The musical stage show takes audiences on a journey alongside the most famous person ever to walk the earth and the everyday people whose lives he changed forever. Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene and a multitude of others journey alongside Jesus from the bustling streets of Jerusalem to the raging Sea of Galilee.

The production portrays miraculous events as Jesus sets sail with fishermen and makes disciples out of the least expected.

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The story comes to life onstage with massive sets, special effects and live animals in this original stage production from Sight & Sound.

Jesus from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

Season One of ‘Creepshow’ Coming to Digital and Disc From RLJE

RLJE Films has picked up select rights to season one of “Creepshow” from parent AMC Networks’ Shudder streaming service and will release it June 2 digitally, and on DVD and Blu-ray.

The six-episode season of the horror-comedy from showrunner Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”) stars Tobin Bell (Saw franchise), Adrienne Barbeau (Escape From New York), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), Cailey Fleming (“The Walking Dead”), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi (Bill & Ted Face the Music), DJ Qualls (“The Man in the High Castle”), Bruce Davison (X-Men), David Arquette (Scream franchise), Dana Gould (“Stan Against Evil”) and Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”).

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The new anthology series is based on George A. Romero’s 1982 horror comedy film. A comic book comes to life in a series of 12 vignettes over six episodes, exploring terrors from murder to the supernatural and unexplainable, including haunted dollhouses, werewolves, murderous goblins, villainous trick-or-treaters, the dead and medical marvels.

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The six episodes were directed by Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”), Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead), John Harrison (Book of Blood), Rob Schrab (“Community”), David Bruckner (The Ritual) and Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock).

Bonus materials include more than three hours of interviews, featurettes and behind-the-scenes footage, audio commentary tracks with the cast and crew for each of the episodes, and a 24-page comic art booklet.

Update (5/12/20): The original street date of May 19 was changed to June 2 by RLJ.

Movies Anywhere Screen Pass Sharing Feature Launched to More Users in Open Beta

Digital movie library Movies Anywhere has launched its new Screen Pass feature to more users. The feature allows users to share up to three movies monthly with friends and family for free.

The open beta expands on the beta launch March 17.

“We wanted to start open beta with users we thought were most likely to share,” said Karin Gilford, GM of Movies Anywhere, who added that the stay-at-home orders in the majority of the country make it a good time to help users share their favorite movies with family and friends.

Those who want to participate in the open beta can sign up here.

Screen Pass gives a friend or family member (who must be a Movies Anywhere member) seven days to accept the invitation, and another 14 days to watch the title. Once started, the user has 72 hours to finish watching the movie. A title can be shared unlimited times.

All Movies Anywhere studios are participating in the program, with each studio deciding on Screen Pass eligible titles. Eligible films appear in a scroll on the Movies Anywhere app. Users can send a text or email to share an eligible title. The service notifies recipients if the title is already in their library and they can decline the offer. Movies Anywhere also indicates to sharers how many of the three allowed movies per month they have shared.

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“We have such a great enthusiastic audience, and they look to share their love of movies,” Gilford said. “Now you can really pay it off with just a few clicks. The more friction you can reduce from that recommendation of a movie to a friend the better.”

Movies Anywhere brings together more than 7,900 movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Twentieth Century Film, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers that connect with the service include iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Comcast Xfinity, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, FandangoNow and Verizon Fios TV.

Paramount and Lionsgate films are not part of the service.

While Movies Anywhere is “always in talks” with potential additional studio and partners, Gilford said, “We are accelerating our connected TV strategy.” Last month, Movies Anywhere launched on LG smart TVs.

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Doc ‘One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal’ Coming to Digital HD April 7 From Virgil

The documentary One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal will come out on Digital HD April 7 from Virgil Films.

In 2009, 1,176 Atlanta teachers were investigated for test cheating; 35 were indicted, 12 went to trial and 11 were found guilty on RICO charges, which are typically reserved for the mafia and drug lords. The guilty, serving 30-year sentences, finally break their silence in this tell-all, controversial film that takes a closer look at the legislation called No Child Left Behind, the politics behind it, and a race and power struggle that spawned one of the most complex scandals in American history.

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Directed by celebrated Producer and Showrunner Jodi Gomes, the documentary brings the accused, whistleblowers, cheaters and innocent together on film for the first time to tell the real story. The U.S. Education debate takes a front seat in this harrowing, investigative film that will leave many wondering how our education system could fail so many. Was the controversial legislation, ‘No Child Left Behind’ to blame for such widespread cheating in Atlanta public schools, or did politics, race and greed for $50 million in federal funding fuel the fire? Discover the real story with exclusive interviews from the convicted, whistleblowers, accused, cheaters, prosecution, D.A., defense attorneys and most importantly, the students left behind.

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One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

MMA Doc ‘El Viejo’ Coming on Digital Feb. 25 From Virgil

The documentary El Viejo will be released on digital HD Feb. 25 from Virgil Films and Entertainment.

The film follows a 51-year-old retired wrestling coach, Thom Ortiz, who doesn’t let age derail his dreams of becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter. Against all odds, he uses unconventional means to juggle the challenges of health, fatherhood, career and training to compete in a sport that’s dominated by younger athletes.

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Directed by Matthew Hickney and written by Shane Ellison, the documentary won Best Documentary Feature at the Festigious International Film Festival Los Angeles, Best Arizona Feature at the Arcosanti International Film Carnivale, the Gold Medal for Best Featurette at the Global Independent Film Awards, and was a winner at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

El Viejo from El Viejo on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘The Animal People’ Due on Digital Dec. 10 From Virgil

The feature documentary The Animal People will come out on digital HD Dec. 10 from Virgil Films.

From executive producer Joaquin Phoenix and directors Cassandra Suchan and Denis Henry Hennelly, the documentary — more than 10 years in the making — follows the journey of six young activists who find themselves indicted as terrorists by the United States government. The reason for indictment is the activists’ leadership of a controversial open protest campaign aiming to close down the largest animal testing laboratory in the world. The activists used the then fledgling internet to dramatically magnify their impact and systematically knocked down pillars of financial support for the lab. But when protests began to mushroom into dead-of-night vandalism and worse by unknown underground elements, the FBI stepped in. The bureau began a campaign of surveillance, creating a model that would later be used against Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. According to the program, the United States Congress, under corporate pressure, rewrote laws in specific preparation for prosecution, potentially weakening free speech rights for all Americans.

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Featuring expansive interviews with the six activists spanning more than a decade, rare archival footage, including never-before-seen surveillance footage, wiretaps and government documents, The Animal People is a portrait of what happens when activism rattles the institutions of power.

Documentary ‘Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?’ Blows to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27

The Virgil Films documentary Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?, about one of the most famous saxophone players in the world, is coming on Digital HD Aug. 13 and on DVD through MVD Entertainment Group Aug. 27 following a limited theatrical run in July.

A TV/ SVOD release is planned for first quarter 2020.

After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s marathon “Rising Tour” came to an end in 2003, Clemons felt like he needed a break. Though the world knew him as The Big Man and a lifetime member of the E Street Band, there was also a deeply spiritual side to Clemons, so he packed up his saxophone and journeyed to China, where he could be more or less a nameless traveler in a foreign land. Following him was director, friend and photographer Nick Mead, who documented the musician’s transcendent awakening overseas. Once Clemons returned to the States, Mead decided to keep the cameras rolling, which is when tragedy struck. While in Florida, Clemons suffered a stroke and passed away.

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With the help of producer Joe Amodei, the film became more than just a document of the musician’s spiritual journey, it became a biography of his life and a love letter and farewell from those who knew him best.

“It was an honor and a privilege to work with Nick Mead on this project. Clarence was a true Big Man! His spirituality rose to the top of every interview we conducted.” said producer Amodei in a statement.

Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, and former band mates, friends and close family members, Who Do I Think I Am? documents Clemons’s life as a musician and member of the E Street band while also presenting another side of the man not many knew offstage.