Gravitas Ventures to Bow Comedy ‘My Divorce Party’ Digitally April 30

Gravitas Ventures will release Film Mode Entertainment’s comedy My Divorce Party via digital purchase and cable on demand on April 30. 

The film stars Rumer Willis (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The House Bunny, “Empire”), Michelle Meredith (“The Morning Show,” Kappa Kappa Die), Kimia Behpoornia (“Reboot,” “Hacks,” “Atypical”), Sarah Hollis (Kill Your Darling, “24”) and Desiree Staples (Scrap, Take Me to Tarzana, “Everyone Is Doing Great”).

In the film, newly single and ready to mingle, Xan gathers her closest friends on vacation in Joshua Tree to celebrate her impending divorce. Upon arrival, Xan gifts her friends $20,000 each to spend on the trip so that her soon-to-be ex-husband cannot take her life savings. Hilarity and chaos ensue as the ladies help Xan process her feelings while enjoying a weekend full of surprises. 

Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment announced the Berlin premiere during the 2024 European Film Market. Film Mode Entertainment will be showing footage from the film to buyers in Berlin for the first time.

Heidi Weitzer directed My Divorce Party, and the deal was completed by Lydia Ianni on behalf of Film Mode Entertainment and producers Adrienne Childress and Geenah Krisht on behalf of the film.

My Divorce Party is a riveting and hilarious fresh take on a trusted genre, with an amazing cast and a plot filled with clever twists and turns that takes the audiences on a ride of love, laughter and unconventional surprises. The film is a prime example of how a talented female-lead cast and crew can raise the genre bar so high that the outcome is a highly commercially viable movie that stays true to its artistic roots and core message,” Epstein said in a statement.

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“We’re thrilled to be partnered with Film Mode. Producing this film was a true labor of love, and we cannot wait to share My Divorce Party with the world,” sproducers Krisht and Childress said in a statement.

The film was also selected to have its world festival debut on March 10 at Cinequest, with an encore performance on March 13.

The ensemble cast also includes Dionne Gipson, Cap Peterson, and Laith Ashley.

Executive producers on the film are Staples, Weitzer, and Sam Fox.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to ‘Easter Bloody Easter,’ Due on VOD March 26

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand rights to the horror comedy Easter Bloody Easter, which will be released on transactional VOD March 26.

The film, from first-time director and star Diane Foster and her WallyBird Productions, was recently awarded the ReFrame Stamp from Women in Film recognizing gender parity in production.

Easter Bloody Easter is set in a small Texas town, where a series of bloody murders has the locals on edge for the upcoming “Easter-palooza.” The mayor refuses to cancel the festivities and argues that the famous “Egg Hunt” only happens once a year. Jeanie wakes to find her husband is missing, and his wrecked car covered in blood and fur. Sam, the town’s conspiracy theorist steers Jeanie and her best friend Carol, to the legend of the killer Jackalope that ravaged the town 150 years ago. Like a werewolf, the Jackalope is a shapeshifter — human one moment, a giant horned rabbit the next. It’s up to Jeanie and Carol to follow the bunny tracks and uncover the fluffy truth. After encountering the Jackalope’s demon bunny army, the ladies team up with Megan, a professional bunny slayer, to hunt for the creature’s true identity. Despite the present danger to the town, the self-righteous church committee insists on helping the Mayor put on “Easter-palooza.” The Jackalope and his minions attack the event creating pandemonium and a mounting death toll. Armed with cowboy hats and big Texas determination, the town residents band together to solve this mystery and stop the Jackalope once & for all.

The film is written by Allison Lobel, and co-stars Kelly Grant, Allison Lobel, Zuri Starks, D’Andre Noiré, Zachary Kanner, Miles Cooper and Gavin Lee. 

“WallyBird Productions and I are thrilled to be partnering with Gravitas Ventures to bring audiences the horror comedy Easter Bloody Easter,” Foster said in a statement. “Along with egg hunts and candy filled baskets, I am excited for families and friends to add watching Easter Bloody Easter to their holiday traditions. As the first installment in the Easter Bloody Easter franchise, this film is a quirky murder mystery that brings to Easter what it has been missing — an unforgettable movie Monster and a chance to laugh, scream, and sing along, just like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

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“Gravitas Ventures is delighted to be releasing this hilarious horror romp,” Mackenzie Maguire, acquisition manager at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement. “Diane Foster shines as the director and star of this film. We are eager to share this film with North American audiences in time for Easter in March.” 

Maguire negotiated the deal with Ryan Bury of MPX Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to Doc ‘Cover Your Ears,’ Due on VOD March 5

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to Prairie Coast Films’ documentary Cover Your Ears and will release it on VOD March 5.

Directed by Sean Patrick Shaul, the film is produced by Kayvon Saremi and Shaul and features Chuck D (Public Enemy), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Ian Hill (Judas Priest), Country Joe McDonald, Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Murray Acton (Dayglo Abortions), David Yow (The Jesus Lizard), Wes Beech (Plasmatics) and Brandon Duncan (Tiny Doo). It is narrated by Kat Moss (Scowl).

Cover Your Ears explores the question: When does free expression become obscenity?

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From poignant protest songs to fluffy Top 40 hits, music has always defined our culture. With such a powerful influence on all aspects of society, the messages and themes portrayed by musicians have long been considered dangerous to some. The film looks at how the censorship of music has shaped not only how we view art and how it’s made but who we are as consumers and free-thinkers.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Thriller ‘Demise,’ Due on VOD Feb. 27

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to the thriller Demise, due on VOD Feb. 27.

Written and directed by Yara Estrada Lowe, the film stars Carlo Mendez, Liz Fenning, Crystal Hernandez, Morris Jude Martinez, Richard Rivera, Lucy Serrano, Caitlin Rose Williams and Lamar Alexander.

The story centers around Celine, a beautiful loving wife in the San Fernando Valley. Celine’s life is turned upside down when she learns that she’s unable to bear children. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that  her husband Caleb is having an affair, and his mistress Fiona is pregnant with his child.  Caleb is confronted by Celine. Although he begs for forgiveness, he nevertheless chooses to leave Celine for Fiona and bring up their son. The abrupt ending to Celine’s marriage causes her to spiral into a twisted path of obsession and revenge, in which she struggles to regain control of her life at all costs.

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“I was inspired by the  thrillers of the ’90s, like The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, during my upbringing in Northern California,” Yara Estrada Lowe said in a statement. “My aspiration was to create a film in the same genre — something that’s fun and sexy. I hope everyone enjoys the film as much as I enjoyed making it.”

“Gravitas Ventures is excited to be bringing Demise to North American audiences this February,” Bill Guentzler, Gravitas Ventures’ VP of acquisitions, said in a statement. “Writer-Director Yara Estrada Lowe brings out the excellent talent of Carlo Mendez, Crystal Hernandez, and Liz Fenning creating a thrilling drama about infidelity and obsession.”

Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Project Dorothy’ Due on VOD Jan. 16 From Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures on Jan. 16 will release the sci-fi thriller Project Dorothy on VOD and cable.

From director George Henry Horton (Dreadspace, Dark Obsession), the film stars scream queen Danielle Harris (the “Halloween” franchise, the “Hatchet” franchise, “The Conners”) as the titular AI, alongside Tim DeZarn (The Cabin in the Woods), Adam Budron, Emily Rafala (“Katy Keene”), Olivia Scott and Horton.

In Project Dorothy, small-time criminals James and Blake flee the police and take refuge in an abandoned scientific facility. Their attempt to restore power activates an AI, Dorothy, responsible for the former occupants’ demise. They realize their predicament is worse than evading the law; they must use their streetwise instincts to thwart Dorothy’s escape into the world.

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Gravitas Ventures Acquires Doc ‘One Road to Quartzsite,’ Available Digitally

Gravitas Ventures has picked up rights to the documentary One Road to Quartzsite.

The company released the film Dec. 5 for digital purchase and rental, and it will have a theatrical release this week in New York City.

The film is an observational documentary that captures the spirit of a peculiar place in the American West — Quartzsite, Ariz. The project is helmed by filmmaker Ryan Maxey, who directed, produced, shot and edited the work while spending three winters living in Quartzite in a converted school bus.

Often described as “the world’s largest parking lot” or “Burning Man for old people,” it’s easy to recognize the rocky, desert landscape and its eclectic residents from the Oscar-winning film Nomadland by Chloe Zhao. This plot of desert between Phoenix and Los Angeles is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and allows for cheap, long-term camping. Anyone can pay $180 and stay for up to six months. What results is an unlikely cross section of transient people — retired snowbirds, crustpunks, homeschooled pre-teens and libertarians — as they make their annual pilgrimage to warmer weather. Every winter, the population of Quartzsite, Ariz., swells from 600 to more than a million. Folks live out of RVs, vans, limos, tents, pallet and tarp structures, even Priuses.

At a time when the world feels stuck in trying to understand our deep divides, One Road to Quartzsite offers a meditative exploration of our common humanity. Drawn to a community of like-minded souls defining their own search for personal freedom and throwing off society’s conventional constraints, Maxey made friends, but could not deny some deep underlying tensions.

“In one way, Quartzsite is an embodiment of Americana. It is blue collar, it is meat ‘n’ potatoes. It is Trump lovin’, gun totin’ good ole boys and girls looking for a way to live out their last days,” Maxey said in a statement. “Some days I grew frustrated with the place, confronted with representations of so many toxic American values. And other times I was belting out classic country tunes on karaoke nights with a newfound family.”

In his second year there, Maxey brought along his camera to explore these internal questions without any sit-down interviews, using a cinema vérité approach. Everyone’s story is revealed through authentic desert chitter-chatter. The camera is a fly in the dirt, living within intimate exchanges. Viewers watch a singles bingo game, a trans woman heal, a wife widowed who must pick up the pieces, a pair of home-schooled pre-teens fall in love, and a man face cancer but live to entertain at his piano’s altar. Some of the film’s characters bought into the American Dream and lost everything in the Great Recession. Others dropped out long ago. Now they’re all neighbors on the same piece of dirt. 

Maxey shot One Road to Quartzsite as a one man crew and he worked with Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin on the original score. The film won Best Documentary Feature at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Chattanooga Film Festival, and Calgary Underground.

As part of the film’s release, Village East by Angelika theater in New York City will host a ticketed screening Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.

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The project was produced by Josh Polon and executive produced by Kyle Marvin, Michael Covino and Emily Korteweg of Watch This Ready and Scott Veltri.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to Thriller ‘DarkGame’

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to distribute thriller DarkGame. It will be released on VOD in February 2024.

Directed by Howard J. Ford, the thriller stars Ed Westwick, Andrew P. Stephen, Natalya Tsvetkova, Lola Wayne, Rose Reynolds and Rory Alexander.

In the film, the Portland police are horrified to discover victims are being kidnapped in their city and forced to play games to survive in a sick version of a reality game show, broadcast on the dark web. If players lose, they die. Matters escalate once the story breaks, as the dark web show is shared across social media, raising the stakes and the number of viewers, and bringing the public’s eye on every action the police take. Troubled detective Ben Jacobs and his cybercrimes team are in a race against time to save the captives, as underworld criminals outbid each other to choose the manner of each elimination.

While the world watches with a kind of morbid mixture of revulsion and social media frenzy, the captives must face daily challenges to survive, knowing one of them must lose each round, and hoping to survive long enough for someone on the outside to save them.

“I cannot wait to share DarkGame with the world — it’s deliciously twisted and macabre but also a gripping detective story with moments that are literally gobsmacking,” director Ford said in a statement. “I’m super excited about the upcoming release with Gravitas in North America –  hold onto your seats folks. Nails will be bitten and many won’t make it out alive.”

“We are so excited to be working with Gravitas as our North American distributor, they know this genre intimately,” producer Tom George said in a statement. “DarkGame is an intense and gripping thriller, and Ed is just brilliant as our haunted detective who is driven by his own demons, and in this story he’s up against a master villain that audiences might just love to hate.”

“The crime-thriller genre is possibly my most favorite,” star Ed Westwick said in a statement. “As a kid, I’d watch this stuff and be engrossed. Now I get to play in this world. It’s the character I’ve been waiting to play. Tom and I have an ease of working together and Howard’s positivity and kindness really gave me comfort. This was the environment you need as an actor to create and play.”

“Gravitas couldn’t be more thrilled to be the North American distributor for DarkGame,” Danielle Gasher, Gravitas Ventures’ VP of acquisitions and international sales, said in a statement. “The film is an absolute edge-of-your-seat thriller about a twisted game of cat and mouse.”

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DarkGame was produced by Happy Hour Productions, in association with Principal Film Finance and JCG Bits Productions, and Executive Produced by Westwick, Polina Nioly and Joseph Crepaldi.

Gravitas to Release Two Docs From SFO Entertainment

SFO Entertainment, the production company led by industry veterans Jon Sheinberg and Susan Ursitti Sheinberg along with Matt Feige, has slated the release of two upcoming documentaries, Feeding Tomorrow and Killing Me Softly With His Songs, with Gravitas Ventures.

It “marks the inception of an extensive and diverse development slate encompassing documentary, docuseries, and scripted projects under the banner of SFO Entertainment,” according to a Gravitas press release.

Feeding Tomorrow, winner of the Best Environmental Film award at the 2022 Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival, focuses on the global issue of food scarcity and sustainable agriculture, exploring innovative solutions to feed the growing population and create a more sustainable future. The documentary is produced by co-directors Oliver English and Simon English’s production company, Common Table Creative. The film will be released for digital rental and purchase Jan. 23.

Gravitas Ventures will also release Killing Me Softly With His Songs, a documentary that takes viewers on a nostalgic journey through the life of iconic songwriter Charles Fox and his Hollywood life with international stops in Cuba and France influencing the storyline. The project features live performances by notable artists Rita Wilson, Jason Alexander, Common, Diane Warren and The Barenaked Ladies. It is scheduled to be released on April 2.

“We believe in shedding light on critical issues that impact our world, and we are committed to making a positive impact through the power of cinema,” SFO Entertainment founder Jon Sheinberg said in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with Gravitas Ventures to help spread the light far and wide.”

“Gravitas has long been a champion of purpose-driven documentaries and pride ourselves on finding audiences for these personal yet global stories, we’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with SFO and support its mission towards a better future,” Bill Guentzler, VP of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement.

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SFO Entertainment focuses on purpose-driven content, aligning with important causes such as environmental preservation, health awareness, and other significant societal issues. SFO and Booklight’s upcoming documentary Little Empty Boxes delves into the subject of Alzheimer’s disease, examining the impact of Alzheimer’s on families and society, while exploring the power of love through one mother-son relationship. Little Empty Boxes is co-directed by best-selling author Max Lugavere and Chris Newhard, and is set for theatrical release in spring 2024.

Gravitas Acquires Rights to Horror Flick ‘Soft Liquid Center,’ Debuting on VOD Dec. 12

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to the micro-budget horror film Soft Liquid Center. The film premiered at the RiverRun International Film Festival and will be released on VOD beginning Dec. 12.

Soft Liquid Center played both domestic and international festivals and has won awards for Best Feature Film and Best Score.

“We’re so excited for more people to see our bizarre creation and hope that it inspires others to tell their stories,” co-director Joseph Kolean, who directed with Zachary Gutierrez under their Perry Home Video moniker, said in a statement.

Kolean and Gutierrez produced and co-wrote the film with actress Steph Holmbo, who recently starred in David Byrne’s Theater of the Mind and makes her feature film debut in the lead role. Karl Kister, producer of Crestone and Ma, is making his first foray into horror as executive producer.

Holmbo based Soft Liquid Center on real life experiences, filtering her struggles with abusive men through a supernatural lens in order to create something resembling a dream world both recognizable and unusual. The film follows Holmbo’s character, Steph, as she navigates leaving her partner and beginning a new life. Living alone, Steph’s home slowly shifts from a sanctuary to a house of horrors, as her nightmares accumulate and transition into reality. She’s faced with the crushing terror of stalking and gaslighting, as well a new loneliness, while endeavoring to unravel the mysteries of her predicament. All the while, a force beyond her understanding wields its immense power with a familiar cruelty. 

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In addition to Holmbo, the film stars Alex Palkovic, Paul Michel, Davidia Turner, Brenda, Mercedez Prince Davis, Michael Isaacs and Andrew Hamilton. Roberto Garza created the film’s score. 

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to Thriller ‘Liberty,’ Due on Digital Nov. 21

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American rights to the environmental thriller Liberty, due on digital Nov. 21.

In the film walking the line between Stephen King and Henry David Thoreau, an idealistic park guide holds six strangers captive, treating them like caged animals, to deliver his chilling message of freedom to the world. As his hostages run the gamut from confusion and disbelief to anger and hostility to grief and despair, the antihero compares their mental and physical breakdown to those of wild animals struggling in captivity.

Written and directed by filmmaker Philippe De Witte and produced by Michel Gouzée de Harven, Jean-Christophe Van den Berg, Yves Merlin and Michael Whalen, Liberty stars Nicholas Michael McGovern, Alice Barrett (“Another World”), Olan Montgomery (“Stranger Things”), Denny Dale Bess (“Law & Order: SVU”), Samantha Smart (“Katy Keene”), Jonathan Kirkland (“Tulsa King”), and Andrea McKinnon (Boyhood).
 
Liberty has played at a range of film festivals, including the 2022 Burbank International Film Festival (Winner of Best Foreign Feature Film, Best Music Score — Musical Composition for a Feature Film, and nominee for Best Feature Film), 2022 Montreal Independent Film Festival (Winner of Best Thriller), 2022 Lonely Wolf International Film Festival (Winner of Best Feature Film, Best Thriller, Best Cast Ensemble, and Outstanding Achievement in Production Design) and 2022 Dumbo Film Festival (Semi-finalist). It was an official selection of the 2022 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.
 
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Liberty is a timely thriller, a personal take on animal welfare with larger themes of freedom and injustice.  Audiences will be captivated during the film, but will also be thinking about it for a very long time,” Cameron Moore, Gravitas Ventures’ senior director of theatrical distribution, said in a statement.
 
Gravitas Ventures negotiated the deal directly with the filmmakers.
 
“We are extremely grateful to have Liberty widely distributed through our partnership with Gravitas Ventures,” filmmaker Philippe De Witte said in a statement. “Our goal was an entertaining thriller with deep social messaging, and we hope Liberty will stimulate meaningful conversation. We’re excited for the audience response.”