BayView Entertainment Acquires Passion River Films Assets

BayView Entertainment has entered into an agreement to acquire certain assets of Passion River Films, the independent film and documentary distributor behind such releases as Between the Shades, Murder in Coweta County (1983, starring Johnny Cash) and The Diabetes Solution.

BayView Entertainment will handle the bulk of Passion River’s catalog, both currently available titles and recently acquired films that have yet to be released.

Passion River’s catalog features Academy Award nominees and Emmy-winning films as well as hundreds of films that have been recognized at the Independent Spirit Awards, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival and many other events.

Launched in 1998, Passion River Films has been devoted to acquiring, distributing, and representing unique independent films and documentaries. 

Passion River’s Josh Levin has joined BayView as its VP of sales.

“This agreement will add an exciting new dimension to our library,” Peter Castro, BayView’s VP of acquisitions and business development, said in a statement. “Passion River’s wide-ranging titles will be an essential part of BayView’s ongoing release strategy. We are committed and eager to make Passion River a successful part of the BayView family.”

“I am so excited to be able to present buyers around the world the quality horror, arthouse, comedy, action, thriller, fitness and educational titles in BayView’s portfolio in addition to the outstanding documentary and indie catalog of films coming over from Passion River,” Levin said in a statement.

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“It’s exciting to watch Bayview persist in our goal of supporting talented filmmakers and releasing impactful films for communities,” Passion River president Allen Chou said in a statement.

Earlier this year, BayView announced it had acquired U.K.-based Genre label VIPCO as well as Mutiny Pictures, the independent label responsible for uncovering the film Skinamarink, currently in theatrical release from IFC Midnight Films.

Punk Rock Documentary ‘Punk the Capital’ Heads to DVD, Blu-ray June 12

A documentary chronicling the rise of punk music in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Punk the Capital, will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in the United States on June 12 and in the United Kingdom on July 12.

The U.S. release coincides with Record Store Day, an annual promotion launched by independent record stores and rapidly gaining ground with the resurgence of the vinyl LP.

Punk the Capital features musicians such as Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and Jello Biafra. Created by James June Schneider (co-director, editor), Paul Bishow (co-director) and Sam Lavine (associate producer, co-editor), Punk the Capital  was released theatrically released in the United States in May and garnered rave reviews from the press and fans alike. Many of the screenings became special events, with Q&As with the directors and Pete Stahl of Scream, Chris Stover of Void, Nicky Thomas of Fire Party, curator/publisher Roger Gastman, and Hudley Flipside of Flipside fanzine, just to name a few.

Co-director Schneider said in a statement, “The final version of our film that we’re releasing now is just the intense tip of the iceberg — our first cut was seven hours long. In the end, we wound up focusing on the untold and improbable story of punk rock’s beginnings in Washington, D.C., that happened concurrently with cities across the western world.”

The film is being released in the United States through Passion River and in the U.K. through Wienerworld. A portion of all DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales through Dischord Records will go to the Washington, D.C.-based charity We Are Family, an outreach and advocacy organization serving low-income seniors in the North Capitol and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

The Blu-ray Discs and DVD contain more than 50 minutes of short films from the archives of Punk the Capital:

  • “Scream Meets The Hangmen”: Featuring all of Scream including Dave Grohl;
  • “Void and Friends”: A portrait of the cult hardcore band from the D.C. suburbs;
  • “The Seminal WGTB Concert”: D.C.’s legendary first punk concert, featuring The Cramps;
  • “The Slickee Boys”: Extra material on the band that got D.C. punk off the ground circa 1976.