Comedy ‘Big House’ Due on Digital and On Demand Aug. 17 From Gravitas Ventures

The comedy Big House will arrive on digital and on demand Aug. 17 from Gravitas Ventures.

The film follows Claire and Ali, for whom monogamy doesn’t run strong in  paternal bloodline. They find healthy ways of dealing with the desire for more than one partner. Ali and her boyfriend Art invite Jas, a woman they met on an open relationships app, to join them for a threesome. But they also find not-so-healthy ways. Claire is cheating on her fiancé Zach with her coworker. When all six of these people find themselves stuck in the same house for what was supposed to be a beach weekend, the result is a dramatic farce.

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Directed and written by Jack Lawrence Mayer, the film stars Ellie Reed, Paige Collins, Michael Molina, Albert Huber, Evan O’Brien, Zoe Schwartz and Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman.

FilmRise Acquires Digital Distribution Rights to Select Movies From Gravitas Ventures

New York-based movie and television studio and streaming network FilmRise has acquired the digital distribution rights to 83 motion pictures from Gravitas Ventures. The deal, which was negotiated by Austin Goldfine, manager of content and specialty acquisitions at FilmRise, and Michael Murphy, president at Gravitas Ventures, gives FilmRise both domestic and international AVOD and SVOD rights to the movies in the library.

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Gravitas Ventures is part of Red Arrow Studios, one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content. Red Arrow Studios is comprised of 20 production companies in seven territories, including 10 companies based in the United States; digital studio, Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures.

“Gravitas Ventures has a wonderful library of theatrical content that we are excited to share with streaming audiences,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “The impressive array of multi awarding winning talent featured in these films … from Jeremy Irons to Charlotte Rampling … make them must see movies for all film buffs.”

Gravitas titles include An Actor Prepares, starring Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, “The Borgias”) and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises); Hannah, starring Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years, Melancholia); Egg, starring Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men,” Ginger and Rosa), and All Summers End, starring Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse, Ready Player One), Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, “Orange Is the New Black,”) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, “Justified”), among others.

FilmRise plans to offer these films to a range of digital platforms, including The Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto TV and Peacock, among others, as well as its own FilmRise streaming network.

Drama ‘Downeast’ Coming to VOD and Digital From Gravitas Ventures

The drama Downeast will arrive on digital HD and cable VOD July 13 from Gravitas Ventures and APS Films.

The gritty crime story dives into the seedy underbelly of Maine, following Emma Maddox as she returns to her hometown, haunted by the mysterious death of her brother Mikey years ago. As she reconnects with his best friend Tommy, the two rekindle their flame and Emma begins to uncover the web of lies the town has been keeping.

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Downeast, directed and written by Joe Raffa based on a story by Maine native Greg Finley, had its world premiere at the Garden State Film Festival in March, kicking off a screening tour across North America. The film has taken home a number of awards including Best Director and Best Actor at Worldfest Houston and Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the Montreal Independent Film Festival. Downeast screened at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, the Phoenix Film Festival and the Show Low Film Festival.

Gravitas Ventures Nabs Rights to ‘The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,’ Headed for Theatrical, On Demand Release Sept. 17

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to writer-director David Midell’s drama The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain from Voltage Pictures.

Gravitas Ventures is slated to release the film — the tragic retelling of the fatal shooting of a 68-year-old African-American man by the White Plains, N.Y., police — in theaters and on demand on Sept. 17.

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain tells the true story of the final hours of the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African-American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were sent to his home to check on him, when his medical alert device was mistakenly activated. Despite Chamberlain informing the officers there was a mistake and he did not have an emergency, they were recorded taunting him, ridiculing his military service and howling racial epithets at him. Finally, the officers broke his door down and shot him to death.

“Our goal all along has been to ask important questions about how our criminal justice system treats people of color, people in low-income areas, and people living with mental health challenges,” Midell (NightLights) said in a statement. “We are beyond excited to work with a partner like Gravitas to bring The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain to North America, and put a very bright spotlight on those questions.”

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The film, which made its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in 2019, stars Frankie Faison (Do the Right Thing, Silence of the Lambs) as Chamberlain. It is produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment. Executive producers also include Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, Gary Lucchesi, Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.

At the Austin Film Festival, the film won both the Jury Award and Audience Award. It also won the top narrative feature prize at the 24th annual Urbanworld Film Festival, a festival which celebrates inclusive, diverse filmmaking.

“David’s film, featuring a career-best performance by Frankie Faison, is a riveting dramatization of a real-life tragedy, and an urgent addition to the engagement of cinema with police reform and racial injustice,” Tony Piantedosi, VP of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the film to North American audiences.”

Gravitas Ventures is a Red Arrow Studios company.

Gravitas Ventures to Distribute Doc ‘The Holy Game’ on VOD

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights (excluding Canada) to distribute the documentary The Holy Game. The title will come out on cable and digital video-on-demand platforms June 29.

From director Brent Hodge (I Am Chris Farley, Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary), the film offers an exclusive look at an officially sanctioned Vatican soccer tournament for priests. Beyond the Vatican walls, there is a soccer championship like no other in which young priests in seminary from around the world gather to play in the Clericus Cup. The documentary feature explores religion, sport and tradition, and looks at why anyone in this era would sacrifice so much to become a priest.

“Brent’s documentary is a fascinating peek behind the curtain, grappling with controversy and harsh truths alongside inspiring observations and amusing anecdotes from the next generation of the priesthood, all set against the backdrop of this unique tournament,” Tony Piantedosi, VP of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement.

Gravitas Ventures released Hodges’ previous documentary, Who Let the Dogs Out in 2019.

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“We are thrilled to be working with Gravitas again on the release of The Holy Game,” Hodge said in a statement. “I am always in search of projects that reveal unique windows into different worlds, and this doc is truly that. Not only do we have direct access to the priesthood, the Vatican, but we also get a glimpse into this one-of-a-kind soccer tournament and where religion fits in modern day culture. We are excited for people to see it.”

Horror Thriller ‘Sound of Violence’ Due on Cable and Digital VOD May 21 From Gravitas Ventures

The horror thriller Sound of Violence will debut on cable and digital VOD May 21 from Gravitas Ventures.

The film, written and directed by Alex Noyer (808, SXSW 2015) premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and stars Jasmin Savoy Brown (the upcoming Scream revival, “The Leftovers”), Lili Simmons (“Ray Donovan,” “Banshee,” Bone Tomahawk), James Jagger (“Vinyl,” The Outpost) and Tessa Munro (“S.W.A.T.”).

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The film follows Alexis, who recovered her hearing after witnessing the brutal murder of her family when she was 10. The experience awakens synesthetic abilities in her and starts her on a path of self-discovery through the healing tones of brutal violence. Supported and loved by her roommate Marie, who is unaware of the dark secrets behind her music, she goes on to pursue a career teaching and experimenting to find new sounds. Faced with the likelihood of losing her hearing again, Alexis escalates her pursuit of her masterpiece through gruesome sound experiments.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires ‘Queen Bees,’ Coming to Theaters and On Demand June 11

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights from Arclight Films to distribute the dramatic comedy Queen Bees. The film will come out in theaters and on demand June 11.

The Astute Films production, directed by Michael Lembeck, stars Ellen Burstyn, James Caan, Ann-Margret, Jane Curtin, Christopher Lloyd, Loretta Devine, Elizabeth Mitchell and French Stewart.

In the film, while her house undergoes repairs, a fiercely independent senior Helen (Burstyn) moves into a nearby retirement community — just temporarily. Once behind the doors of Pine Grove Senior Community, she encounters lusty widows, cutthroat bridge tournaments and a hotbed of bullying “mean girls” the likes of which she hasn’t encountered since high school, all of which leaves her yearning for the solitude of home. But somewhere between flower arranging and water aerobics Helen discovers that it’s never too late to make new friends and perhaps even find a new love.

A heartwarming and humorous look at life’s second act, Queen Bees (previously known as At Last) is inspired by the true story of producer Harrison Powell’s own grandmother’s second chance at love after moving into a retirement community as a widow.

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“As a witness to the joy that finding love at 80 can bring, we knew it was a film we wanted to make and the amazing cast really brought it to life,” producer Dominique Telson said in a statement.

Queen Bees is a feast for the heart,” Arclight Films’ chairman Gary Hamilton said in a statement. “The astounding performances of Ellen Burstyn, James Caan and the rest of the star cast make us laugh and feel good. Michael did an extraordinary job in making this a film for all ages united by the universal topic of love. We trust this gem in the hands of our longtime valued friends at Gravitas Ventures and are certain that with them, this diamond will shine and bring joy to domestic audiences.”

“Michael’s film is the breath of fresh air audiences need right now, a hilarious and life-affirming story with excellent performances from an iconic cast. We look forward to presenting the film to North American audiences,” Tony Piantedosi, VP of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on Disc, ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ on Digital Among This Week’s New Home Viewing Releases

Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 and Universal’s Our Friend top the slate of titles debuting on disc March 30, while Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon becomes available for digital sellthrough April 2.

Wonder Woman 1984, the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman with Gal Gadot reprising her role as the superheroine, was slated to be one of last summer’s big tentpole theatrical releases before pandemic scheduling shifts led it to becoming the first title under the new AT&T paradigm to make Warner films available simultaneously in theaters and for a month on the HBO Max streaming service. It debuted Dec. 25 on HBO Max and earned $45.9 million at the domestic box office before being available for premium VOD rental Feb. 12, then digital sellthrough March 16.

Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 disc releases include DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray formats, while Warner Archive is releasing a 3D Blu-ray of the film.

The Gravitas Ventures drama Our Friend arrives on DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. It became available for digital sellthrough a week ago. The film tells the true story of the Teague family — journalist Matt (Casey Affleck), his wife Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and their two young daughters — and how their lives are upended by Nicole’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. As Matt’s responsibilities as a caretaker and parent become increasingly overwhelming, the couple’s best friend Dane Faucheux (Jason Segel) offers to come and help out. As Dane puts his life on hold to stay with his friends, the impact of this life-altering decision proves greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined.

The computer-animated adventure fantasy Raya and the Last Dragon will be available for digital purchase starting Friday, April 2, from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. Another film delayed by the pandemic, Raya was eventually released March 5 in theaters and as a $29.99 add-on through the Disney+ streaming service’s Premier Access option. In the film, long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world — it’s going to take trust as well. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 18.

Another new March 30 release is Another Round, a co-production between Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden that is nominated at the 93rd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film and Best Director for Thomas Vinterberg. The dark comedy stars Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang and Lars Ranthe as a group of friends who decide their lives would be happier if they drank enough alcohol to maintain a constant buzz without getting fully drunk. Another Round is available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital sellthrough from Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Lionsgate March 30 releases horror film The Toll as a Blu-ray combo pack (with digital copy) and on DVD. The feature film directorial debut of Michael Nader follows a young girl named Cami who takes a taxi to her father’s country home. But when a wrong turn by her chatty driver, Spencer, results in the car stalling on a dark and remote road, the pair soon realize they they are being watched by an unseen presence — one that sees them as trespassers, and is ready to exact a deadly toll.

The supernatural thriller The Widow arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand March 30 from Shout Studios and Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory. The film chronicles the search for people whose mysterious disappearance in a Russian forest has for decades been attributed to a dark spirit. The Blu-ray and DVD include both the original Russian language audio track and an English-dubbed option.

Also available now, having been released for digital sellthrough last Friday, March 26, is the comedy Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, from Lionsgate. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the duo behind Bridesmaids, reunite as lifelong friends who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever. The film debuted on PVOD Feb. 12 and arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 6.

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Among catalog titles, director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 Biblical epic The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston as Moses arrives on 4K Ultra HD for the first time March 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment. The release commemorates the film’s 65th anniversary and arrives just in time for the April 4 Easter holiday. As part of the restoration done in 2010, the film was scanned in 6K and those files were the basis for this Dolby Vision version. Paramount spent more than 150 hours doing new color work and clean-up on the scan of the original VistaVision negative. The 4K release also includes a DTS-HD 5.1 lossless soundtrack.

Another DeMille, classic, 1952 spectacle The Greatest Show on Earth, arrives for the first time on Blu-ray March 30 as part of the Paramount Presents line. Winner of the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, the film captures the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the circus. Featuring three intertwining plot lines filled with romance and rivalry, DeMille’s epic includes spectacular action sequences, including a train wreck. Stars include Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame and James Stewart. The film has been newly restored from a 4K scan of the original negative, and the Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” featurette with film historian Leonard Maltin.

Also landing March 30 on Blu-ray and DVD is the 1991 romantic comedy Defending Your Life. The film was written by, directed by and stars Albert Brooks as a hapless advertising executive who dies suddenly and finds himself in Judgment City, a gleaming way station where the newly deceased must prove they lived a life of sufficient courage to advance in their journey through the universe. As he struggles to make his case, he forms a budding relationship with an uninhibited woman (Meryl Streep) who offers him a chance to finally feel alive. Criterion’s edition includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, plus a slew of extras.

Coming to disc March 30 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films are Perdita Durango (1997), The Day of the Beast (1995), Nosferatu in Venice (1988) and A Scream in the Streets (1973).

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Gravitas Ventures Drama ‘Our Friend’ Due on Digital March 23, DVD March 30 From Universal

The Gravitas Ventures drama Our Friend will come out on digital March 23 and on DVD March 30 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film tells the true story of the Teague family — journalist Matt (Casey Affleck), his wife Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and their two young daughters — and how their lives are upended by Nicole’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. As Matt’s responsibilities as a caretaker and parent become increasingly overwhelming, the couple’s best friend Dane Faucheux (Jason Segel) offers to come and help out. As Dane puts his life on hold to stay with his friends, the impact of this life-altering decision proves greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined.

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The release includes a behind-the-scenes bonus feature in which filmmakers and cast, including Segel, Johnson and Affleck, discuss why they were drawn to this true story and how they worked together to honestly portray the real people at its center.

Romcom ‘First Blush’ Due on Digital and VOD Platforms Feb. 2 From Gravitas Ventures

The romantic comedy First Blush is coming to digital and VOD platforms Feb. 2 from Gravitas Ventures.

The modern millennial romantic comedy follows a young married couple who re-examine their relationship when they both form an attraction to another woman. Nena and Drew are a young, happy-ish married couple whose relationship is thrown off its axis when they meet Olivia. The trio’s attraction to each other is undeniable, but when they become romantically involved, they struggle to navigate the complications of a polyamorous relationship. The three push each other’s boundaries to their limits as they discover painful truths about who they are, what they want, and how to love in turbulent times.

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Written and directed by Victor Neumark, the film stars Rachel Alig (The Cleaning Lady), Ryan Caraway (West of Her) and Kate Beecroft (6 Underground).