New Company Headed by Bill Sondheim Slates First Digital, DVD Release

Greenfield Media has set a Dec. 3 digital and DVD release date for The Reliant, an independent faith-based film with a pro-Second Amendment rights message that stars Kevin Sorbo, best known as television’s “Hercules.”

The film is being released to home audiences after a limited theatrical run in late October. The Reliant grossed close to $500,000 and sold approximately 35,000 tickets, Greenfield says.

The film follows a young family as they struggle to survive on the outskirts of their burning town after an economic collapse – and a government seizure of guns. When they capture a thief attempting to steal from them, they discover the attack on their home was no random act of violence. “They are torn between justice and mercy, and struggle to trust in God in the crisis of their lives,” according to a news release. “The film answers the question of what will you do to protect your own family.”

The Reliant opened Oct. 24 with a one-night Fathom Events showing on 722 screens. The marketing program included a media tour by Sorbo, targeted social media ad buys and support from the NRA.

“We focused on a grass-roots push in middle American markets, which resulted in a successful Fathom event that exceeded all expectations,” said Bill Sondheim, the veteran home entertainment executive who launched Greenfield Media earlier this year.

“That enthusiasm has carried over to both the physical and the digital releases as witnessed by the film grabbing the No. 1 pre-order spot on Amazon the week after the Fathom event.”

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He said the film will be distributed to home audiences through Distribution Solutions, which is “ideally suited to maximize this mass merchant-oriented film.”

In addition to Sorbo, The Reliant starts Brian Bosworth, Mollee Gray, and Eric Roberts.

Prior to launching Greenfield Media, Sondheim most recently served as president of the entertainment group at Cinedigm Corp. Before joining Cinedigm in October 2013, Sondheim was president of entertainment and worldwide distribution for Gaiam, later Gaiam Vivendi, which was ultimately sold to Cinedigm. From 2005 to 2007, he oversaw the development of Sony Music Entertainment’s dual disc technology initiative.

Before Sony, Sondheim was president of GT Brands LLC and, before that, president of Polygram Filmed Entertainment’s video distribution entity when it appeared PolyGram was on the cusp of becoming the seventh major, through hit theatrical movies like What Dreams May Come, with Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr., and The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn.

Bob Iger Steps Up to Plate Following Latest School Shooting

In the aftermath of the latest (May 18) school shooting (the 22nd in 2018!) that saw a deranged teen (with legally-acquired assault weapons) slaughter 10 high school classmates, including a teacher, and wound 10 others in Santa Fe, Texas, our politically-divided country was again reduced to the repetitious cycle of “thoughts and prayers,” arguing on social media and paralyzed lawmakers (including President Trump) unwilling or unable to confront gun control, the NRA or the 2nd Amendment.

Only this time the vacuous grieving to the horror of Santa Fe High School was quickly overshadowed by The Royals, or obsession over the wedding of Prince Harry and his American “Princess,” actress Meghan Markle.

The reported $40 million ceremony May 19 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom, drew 18 million television viewers in the United States. An impressive statistic in today’s fractured TV landscape.

So immune has the media become toward school shootings, that CNN’s Anderson Cooper, after interviewing the father of a slain student at the most-recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., quietly pivoted to the network’s non-stop coverage of The Wedding.

In the midst of Saturday’s spectacle, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., took to social media with a different mindset: “By not acting to stop gun violence, we are failing our children and failing our country,” he tweeted.

A strong statement coming from the boss of a media giant whose family values brand goes out of its way not to create controversy.

But Iger has long been less than shy about gun violence, telling Variety following the Las Vegas shooting that left 59 concertgoers dead, the country has a crisis and gun control shouldn’t be political.

“We have the worst record in the modern world when it comes to gun violence and gun deaths,” he said. “We should be demanding a dialogue about this from our politicians and demanding some productive action.”

Indeed, advocating — no, demanding — safety for our children at school shouldn’t be controversial. It should be common sense.

 

Gun Safety Activists Urge Tech Companies to Drop NRA TV Streaming Service

In the wake of the Florida high-school shooting that left 14 students and three teachers dead, gun safety activists are asking tech companies to stop streaming NRA TV, an ad-supported service of the National Rifle Association.

Launched in 2016, NRA TV features original programming supporting gun rights and other issues, in addition to covering conservative events such as C-PAC.

“Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense” and “Everytown for Gun Safety” are calling on companies such as Amazon, YouTube, Roku and Apple to stop carrying the NRA TV app, claiming the platform “promotes dangerous conspiracy theories, racially charged rhetoric and violent demonization of the NRA’s political opponents,” among other issues.

“Everytown,” which is fighting to close existing loopholes in gun purchase background checks and curbing the illegal trafficking of firearms, is helping spread hashtag #DumpNRATV.

The groups are also asking pay-TV operators such as DirecTV Now to cancel programming produced by the NRA.

“American businesses have the responsibility to make ethical decisions about the content they will provide on their platforms,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said in a statement.

Watts, a mother of five children, founded “Moms Demand Action” following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012 that left 20 children and six adults dead.

Roku spokesperson Tricia Mifsud took the high ground, saying the over-the-top video pioneer merely acts as a conduit to programming users voluntarily choose to stream.

“We operate an open-streaming platform; however, our content policies prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights,” Mifsud said in a statement to CNN.com.