Gravitas Acquires Rights to Psychological Thriller ‘Exposure,’ Due on Digital, On Demand July 9

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Peter Cannon’s Exposure, due on digital and cable on demand July 9.

The psychological thriller stars Douglas Smith (Horizon, Don’t Worry Darling) and Margo Harshman (“NCIS,” “Even Stevens”) and is written by Cannon. The film’s cast also includes Alex Feldman, Abraham Rodriguez, with Ryan Whitney and Kevin McCorkle.

In the film, years ago, Tanner (Smith) was kidnapped, tortured, and poisoned by an unknown assailant. After being inexplicably let go, he was left obsessed with the idea that his kidnapper was still out to get him. Day in and day out, his compulsive checking to confirm that his house is secure and his food is safe to eat slowly erodes his relationship with his patient and caring wife Nicole (Harshman). One day, Nicole hears that the man who did this to Tanner was released from prison earlier than expected, and Tanner’s obsession spirals out of control. To save her marriage, Nicole forces him to face his fears head-on with exposure therapy, and ultimately confront the fact that he’s experiencing obsessive compulsive disorder. Reluctant at first, he takes to it well — and perhaps to a dangerous level.

“I’ve dealt with obsessive compulsive disorder for over a decade,” Cannon said in a statement. “Over the years the examples of OCD I’ve seen have downplayed the relentless and nightmarish elements of it in favor of something tonally lighter, or even ‘quirky’. Personally, I wanted to show OCD in the way that many experience it — a siege on the mind. To me, an anxiety-inducing thriller was the best way to do that. I hired a therapist to check my work and combined their guidance with my own experiences to create a film that takes its audience for a ride, but also gives a glimpse of something over 1% of the population goes through.”

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“Gravitas is thrilled to be the North American partner for Exposure,” Mackenzie Maguire, Gravitas acquisitions manager, said in a statement. “This film is exciting and heart-pounding, all while featuring a considerate representation of mental health. Douglas Smith absolutely shines in his role,”

Gravitas Picks Up Rights to Doc ‘Meet Me Where I Am’

Gravitas Ventures has secured the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the documentary film Meet Me Where I Am, available from digital retailers and cable VOD May 21.

The film presents an intimate look at the experiences of individuals grappling with loss, offering viewers a glimpse into the complexities of grief and the possibilities of finding meaning amidst pain. Through personal narratives and expert insights, the film aims to normalize discussions around grief and inspire hope in viewers, guiding them through their own paths of healing.

In Meet Me Where I Am, director Grant Garry explores the intricacies of grief, dissecting its stages and offering profound insights into the dynamics of support during loss. The documentary presents a diverse array of perspectives, notably featuring actor Anthony Rapp (RENT, “Star Trek: Discovery”). Rapp provides an intimate glimpse into the real Jonathan Larson (RENT, Tick Tick … Boom!), the Tony Award-winning Broadway production RENT, and the profound impact of losing Larson and his own mother. As a personal touch, Garry wanted to include Anthony’s story from RENT, as a poignant “Easter egg” reflecting his own journey of healing through musical theater.

The film also features author and grief expert David Kessler (Finding Meaning, ABC’s “Good Morning America” contributor), and John Farley, brother of Chris Farley (“SNL,” Tommy Boy, Beverly Hills Ninja). John discusses being an actor, growing up with Chris Farley, and what it was like to lose him.

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“I am thrilled to collaborate with Gravitas Ventures for the release of Meet Me Where I Am,” director Grant Garry said in a statement. “This film is a testament to the power of human connection and the resilience of the human spirit. It was important for me to let people know that it’s perfectly normal to be sad, to be in pain, and it’s okay to not ‘get over it.’ My hope is that people can find new meaning in their lives as they move forward with their grief.”

“Gravitas is honored to be bringing the incredibly moving and impactful documentary Meet Me Where I Am to audiences this May,” Bill Guentzler, SVP of acquisitions and operations, said in a statement. “Through sincere interviews and personal stories, director Grant Garry presents a guide for humanity to come together and process grief.”

Meet Me Where I Am premiered at Dances with Films film festival in Los Angeles 2023, where it took home the Audience Award for Best Documentary. 

Gravitas Picks Up Rights to Family Comedy ‘The Present,’ Due on VOD June 18

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to the family comedy The Present and will release the film for digital purchase and on cable VOD on June 18.

In the film, when a brilliant boy discovers he can manipulate time using an enchanted family heirloom, he and his siblings team up to go back to the eve of their parents’ separation in hopes of changing the outcome. As their schemes become more elaborate, the siblings learn about family bonds and what they can and can’t control. In this magical comedy, Isla Fisher and Greg Kinnear play the parents in search of reconciliation, and Easton Rocket Sweda, Shay Rudolph and Mason Shea Joyce are the siblings who just might be the only people who can make that happen.

“I’m thrilled Gravitas will unveil The Present just in time for the summer holidays! Available on all major platforms, it will allow everyone and their families to have fun watching our on-screen family rise to the challenges of life, love, laughter — and time travel,” filmmaker Christian Ditter said in a statement .

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“We are so thrilled to be the domestic distribution partner for The Present. Greg Kinnear and Isla Fisher deliver a funny and heartfelt performance in this wonderful comedy — reminiscent of The Parent Trap,” Danielle Gasher, Gravitas Ventures VP of acquisitions and international sales, said in a statement.

Gravitas Acquires Rights to Dark Comedy ‘Bad Behaviour’

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to actress and first time feature director Alice Englert’s dark comedy Bad Behaviour, starring Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly.

Gravitas Ventures will bow the comedy for digital purchase, and via cable on demand and limited theatrical release on June 14.

The film, which debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, also stars Ben Whishaw, Englert, Ana Scotney, Dasha Nekrasova, Marlon Williams, Karan Gill and Beulah Koale. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Gravitas and share the glorious work of this wondrous cast and crew with U.S. audiences,” Englert said in a statement.

“Gravitas is excited to bring Bad Behaviour to North American audiences. After making a splash at Sundance 2023, Alice Englert’s directorial debut highlights the outstanding performances led by herself, Ben Whishaw, and Jennifer Connelly as they handle (and mishandle) their familial trauma in darkly comic ways,” Bill Guentzler, Gravitas VP of acquisitions, said in a statement. 

In the film, Lucy, a former child actress, seeks healing from the traumas of her life. She embarks on a spiritual retreat, only for it to become anything but healing: she’s easily annoyed by the other attendees and wants attention from the retreat’s new-age guru Elon Bello. Even worse, she has become destructively obsessed with the retreat’s celebrity guest, a model named Beverly. As Beverly finds “enlightenment” easily, Lucy’s feelings of insecurity continue to rise to the surface. During this time, Lucy also tries to connect with her stunt performer adult daughter Dylan, who’s currently on set in New Zealand. Dylan’s falling into an obsession of her own: a bad romance with the main actor Elmore, whose insistence on doing his own stunts will have disastrous consequences. Brutal incidents in both women’s worlds force them to back together to confront their personal demons and their own relationship.

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Guentzler negotiated the deal with CAA Media Finance and Verve Ventures on behalf of the filmmakers.

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.