FilmRise Acquires Feature ‘Drunk Bus’

FilmRise, a film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired the exclusive North American distribution rights to the coming-of-age comedy Drunk Bus.

Starring Charlie Tahan (“Ozark”), Kara Hayward (“Moonrise Kingdom,” “To The Stars”) and newcomer Pineapple Tangaroa, the film, originally to premiere at SXSW 2020, follows a young directionless campus bus driver and a punk-rock, charismatic Samoan security guard who is hired to protect him on the nightshift as drunk college students are ushered from one party to the next.

Michael (Charlie Tahan) is a recent graduate whose post-college plan is derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City. Stuck in Ohio without a new plan of his own, Michael finds himself caught in the endless loop of driving the “drunk bus,” the debaucherous late-night campus shuttle that ferries drunk college students from parties to the dorms and back. When the bus service hires a security guard to watch over the night shift, Michael comes face to tattooed face with Pineapple (Tangaroa), a larger-than-life punk rock Samoan who challenges him with a kick in the ass to break from the loop and start living or risk driving in circles forever.

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The film also stars Zach Cherry (“You,” “Duncanville”), Dave Hill (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Joe Pera Talks with You”), Sarah Mezzanotte (“Chambers,” “Blame”) and Tonatiuh (“Vida,” “Angelyne”) and features a cameo by My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero.

Drunk Bus won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2020 San Diego International Film Festival from both Jury and the Audience.

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Drunk Bus is the directorial debut feature film for John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke and writer Chris Molinaro’s first produced screenplay,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “FilmRise is delighted to support these talented emerging filmmakers with the addition of this festival favorite and critically acclaimed comedy to our 2021 New Release line up.”

FilmRise Picks Up Rights to Children’s Title ‘Lilly’s Light: The Movie’

AVOD streaming network and studio FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the children’s musical adventure Lilly’s Light: The Movie.

The film stars Sherry Hursey (“Home Improvement,” Bring It On), and co-stars Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers” franchise, “iCarly”), Philece Sampler (“Stanley”) and Fred Willard (Best in Show, Mascots).

Hursey portrays Lilly, a loving foster mom and the keeper of an enchanted lighthouse. With her spirited crew of kids, their exotic talking pets and zany friends, Lilly uses joy, love, laughter and song as her tools and shows everyone that life is full of possibilities.

Lilly’s Light: The Movie is a great representation of FilmRise’s move into the children’s space,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement. “We are confident that this film will speak to parents and children looking for a unique program that promotes open minds and a world of possibilities.”

The title includes song contributions by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-, Grammy-, Tony Award-winning singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Steve Dorff, who has written nine No. 1 film songs and 15 Top 10 hits.

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FilmRise is teaming up with Gathr at Home for a nationwide virtual theatrical release of Lilly’s Light: The Movie, kicking off with an at home screening premiere event Nov. 21 to coincide with U.N. International Children’s Day celebrations. The virtual premiere includes a live post-screening event with performances and special appearances by the cast and crew, including the film’s star and producer Hursey, co-star Sterling, Gregory Paul Martin (A Walk in the Clouds, Memoirs of an Invisible Man), San Diego Circus Center’s Jean Luc Martin, Rick Cowling (musical composer, “Modern Family,” “Phineaus and Ferb”) and Jordyn Curet (“Life Hacks for Kids”) plus a Q&A with children’s programming consultant Dr. Gordon L. Berry, as well as a special musical performance by Loggins and Dorff. The film’s live and subsequent virtual theatrical screenings will also serve to raise awareness and funding for Lilly’s Fostering Hearts, a charity that raises awareness as to the needs of displaced, fostered and adoptable youth, Foster Care Counts and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

FilmRise Ups Max Einhorn to SVP, Acquisitions & Co-Productions

FilmRise, the New York-based TV and movie distributor, Oct. 13 announced the promotion of Max Einhorn to SVP of acquisitions and co-productions. Einhorn, who was VP of acquisitions, will continue leading the company’s acquisitions initiatives, in addition to spearheading the company’s co-productions team.

A six-year veteran at FilmRise, Einhorn currently serves as EP on the True Crime TV series “Bloodline Detectives,” which he ordered for FilmRise and former prosecutor Nancy Grace as host.

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Einhorn has negotiated deals with dozens of producers, networks, and studios for TV franchises that include “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Forensic Files,” “Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares,” as well as programs from Carsey Werner, Cannell Entertainment, and other classic television programs.

The content is licensed by FilmRise to its streaming partners in the SVOD and AVOD space, in addition to the distributor’s own streaming network.

“Einhorn’s expanding role reflects his intense grasp of overall content strategy, international expansion, FilmRise’s commitment to original content, and the company’s extension as a service-provider to production companies and studios,” CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement.

Einhorn began at FilmRise in 2014 wearing many hats as Fisher’s assistant. Prior to that, he began his career in 2012 interning with producer Anthony Bregman at Likely Story, and then running development for film financier Henry Pincus.

FilmRise, Redbox Free Live TV Streaming Music Concert Marathon

FilmRise, along with Redbox Free Live TV, will stream a music concert marathon on Sept. 27. The concert marathon features more than 30 concerts, including Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Phil Collins, among others. Specific highlights include Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow (1980), The Doors: Live at the Bowl (1968), and Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim (1967), among others.

Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times is a concert film with theatrical staging, featuring live performances by Prince and his band.

Paul McCartney & Wings: Rockshow: In 1975 and 1976 McCartney and his band undertook the Wings over the World tour, the largest scale tour they would ever undertake as a band. From this tour came both the “Wings over America” triple live album and the concert film “Rockshow.”  Although filmed on this tour at the Kingdome in Seattle, “Rockshow,” originally was a cut-down version of the concert, that did not premier until November 1980 in New York and April 1981 in London.

Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music + Ella & Jobin is a 1967 television event that finds Sinatra joined by Ella Fitzgerald in an historic pairing of the two preeminent vocal talents of the era.

The Doors: Live at the Bowl ’68 is a concert movie depicting the performance of the Doors at the Hollywood Bowl.

Doc ‘Rewind’ and Drama ‘Driveways’ Due on Disc and Digital Sept. 15 From FilmRise and MVD

The documentary Rewind and the drama Driveways are coming to Blu-ray, DVD and digital Sept. 15 from FilmRise and MVD Entertainment Group.

Driveways: Special Edition (2019), starring the late Brian Dennehy (Tommy Boy), follows a lonesome boy who accompanies his mother on a trip to clean out his late aunt’s house, where he ends up forming an unexpected friendship with the retiree who lives next door. From director Andrew Ahn (Spa Night), Driveways also stars Hong Chau (Downsizing), Lucas Jaye (“Fuller House”), Christine Ebersole (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jerry Adler (Find Me Guilty). The film was an Official Selection at festivals worldwide, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival and the Berlin International Fest. Extras include a photo gallery and theatrical trailer.

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In the documentary Rewind (2019), digging through the vast collection of his father’s home videos, a young man reconstructs the unthinkable story of his boyhood and exposes vile abuse passed through generations. The film was an Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Heartland International Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Extras include a filmmaker interview with Sasha Joseph Neulinger, a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer.

Doc ‘1275 Days’ Available on Disc and Digital From Filmrise and MVD

A special edition of the documentary 1275 Days will come out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Filmrise and MVD Entertainment Group.

The film follows 15-year-old Blake who, after a botched home invasion, finds himself facing a virtual life prison sentence for felony murder. With the unwavering support of his single mother and teenage girlfriend, Blake embarks on a David-and-Goliath uphill battle in Elkhart, Indiana, taking on the system in hopes of a second chance.

Extras include deleted scenes, “Experts on Retroactivity,” a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer.

It was an official selection at the 2019 Heartland International Film Festival and an official selection and 2019 DOC NYC.

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FilmRise Picks Up Select International Streaming Rights to ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women’

New York-based FilmRise has acquired select international streaming rights to Beyond Distribution’s Emmy-nominated science entertainment show “MythBusters” and true crime series “Deadly Women.”

The company will distribute “MythBusters,” starring special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Deadly Women,” the miniseries that chronicles three murders within each episode, all committed by women, will be digitally distributed by FilmRise in the United Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to begin our partnership with Beyond Distribution by helping to expand the reach of their amazing shows ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement. “Streaming audiences adore shows that debunk myths and solve mysteries, so we are confident they will be enjoyed among our streaming partner platforms, both in the SVOD and ad-supported space.”

“MythBusters” aired in North America on the Discovery Channel from 2003 through 2016, with 282 total episodes and eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The series takes myths, tall tales and urban legends and gives them the scientific treatment to determine their validity. Myths are proven true, probable, possible, improbable or busted. Often after the real-world practical tests have proved or debunked a myth, the team will take the experiment to the extreme, many times using more modern technology than the myth could have used or upping the black powder for impressive explosions.

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“Deadly Women” is a true-life crime documentary-style TV series with each episode having a unifying theme such as jealousy, financial gain, mental illness or crimes committed by teenagers or the elderly. The stories are told through re-enactments and interviews. Episodes also feature contributors in relevant fields such as law enforcement, law media and forensic experts. Occasionally, family or friends of the subject or their victims appear. Hosted by FBI Criminal Profiler Candice DeLong and narrated by Lynnanne Zager, the program has become a staple on Investigation Discovery (ID), has racked up 13 seasons and remains in production.

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The deal was negotiated by FilmRise VP of acquisitions Max Einhorn and Munia Kanna-Konsek, head of sales at Beyond Distribution.

FilmRise Inks Streaming Deal for PRO Library Including ‘My Favorite Martian,’ ‘The Rifleman’

FilmRise, the New York-based TV and film company, has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the Peter Rodgers Organization (PRO) Film and Television library for North America.

The deal includes 1,115 episodes of content including the Western “The Rifleman,” starring Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford, the first TV show to present single-parenthood; the sci-fi sitcom “My Favorite Martian,” starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby; and the very first network Western TV series “Hopalong Cassidy,” starring William Boyd, which aired on NBC after the network had success broadcasting television cuts of the original feature films.

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“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with [PRO CEO] Stephen Rodgers,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “As traditional television viewing continues to move more toward streaming destinations, we believe fans of classic TV will be excited to find their favorites like ‘The Rifleman’ and ‘My Favorite Martian.’  And now we are offering the opportunity for new streaming audiences to discover them.”

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Programs within the PRO library that FilmRise will be distributing also include “Acapulco H.E.A.T.” seasons 1-2 (1993, 1998); “Celebrity Bowling” seasons 1-3 (1971); “The Cisco Kid” seasons 1-6 (1950); “The Comedy Show” seasons 1-3 (1978); “Conan: The Adventurer” (1997); “Courageous Cat” (1960) seasons 1-4 (1990); “Gigantor” (1964); “I Spy” seasons 1-3 (1965); “Movin’ On” seasons 1-2 (1974); and “Tarzan” seasons 1-3 (1991).

FilmRise content can be seen on free streaming platforms including The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi, IMDb TV, Crackle, Vudu, Sling, Stirr, Samsung TV Plus, Stirr, Xumo and many more — including FilmRise’s own apps on Roku, Fire TV and on iOS and Android devices.

‘The Cat and the Moon’ and ‘Unintended’ Coming to Disc and Digital April 14 From FilmRise and MVD

The Cat and the Moon and Unintended will come out on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats April 14 from FilmRise and MVD Entertainment Group.

From executive producers Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Mile 22) and Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars, The New Mutants), The Cat and the Moon features a cast that includes Alex Wolff (Hereditary, Patriots Day), Skyler Gisondo (Booksmart, Vacation), Stefania LaVie Owen (The Lovely Bones, Krampus), Mike Epps (Dolemite Is My Name, The Last Black Man in San Francisco) and Camrus Johnson (“Batwoman”). While his mother seeks treatment in rehab, teenager Nick (Wolff) comes to New York to stay with Cal, a jazz musician and friend of his late father’s. During his stay, he makes friends who show him what the city has to offer. The film won awards at the 2019 San Antonio Film Festival and the Ischia Global Film Festival. It was also an official selection of New Filmmakers Los Angeles, Sidewalk Film Festival and Woodstock Film Festival.

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From producer Sabine Schenk (A Cure for Wellness, The Reader), Unintended features a cast that includes Elizabeth Lail (Netflix’s “You”), Hannah Westerfield (Logan), Nathan Keyes (The Kings of Summer), Sean Cullen (“Mindhunter”) and Amy Hargreaves (“Homeland”). In the film, a young woman has repressed the memory of having killed someone when she was 12 years old. Thirteen years later, that memory comes back. Unintended was an official selection of the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival.

FilmRise Inks New Deal With ITV Studios for Shows Such as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

FilmRise has announced a deal that extends and expands its partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for streaming rights to more than 1,000 hours of programming across SVOD and AVOD platforms.

In addition to new titles being distributed by FilmRise, the company is digitally distributing all 18 seasons of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and all seasons of “Kitchen Nightmares” for SVOD and AVOD in the United States.

FilmRise has also extended its multi-year rights for the shows and will also become the exclusive digital distributor of “Hell’s Kitchen” in Canada.

The deal furthers FilmRise’s distribution to Canada, extending the original deal struck in early 2018 between the two companies, and includes shows such as “Emmerdale,” “Heartbeat” and “Peak Practice,” which will now be available on AVOD and SVOD in all of North America.

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“We are excited about increasing our partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “This deal expands the scope of our rights, including into Canada, providing access to audiences across North America to stream these high-quality programs.”

“FilmRise is an exceptional partner,” added Rob Kaplan, VP sales, U.S. and global accounts at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, in a statement. “The company’s distribution network across SVOD and AVOD platforms in North America will allow audiences of our fan favorite programming to have many different viewing options.”

As part of the deal, FilmRise will also be bringing the comedy series “Miranda,” sci-fi shows “Saphire & Steel” and Gerry Anderson’s “UFO,” and Jason Isaac’s crime drama “Case Histories” to its North American streaming audiences.