Doc ‘Have You Heard About Greg?’ Headed to Transactional Digital June 21 From Virgil

The documentary Have You Heard About Greg? will be released for digital purchase and on VOD June 21 from Virgil Films.

Have You Heard About Greg? puts a human face on the disease of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The film features experts committed to the fight against Alzheimer’s who share their experience and wisdom about how to deal with an invisible enemy that is quietly killing millions of people each year around the world and will affect millions more in years to come.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

 

Doc ‘Alien Abduction: Answers’ Headed to Digital May 3, DVD June 21 From Virgil

The documentary Alien Abduction: Answers will be released for VOD and digital purchase May 3, and on DVD June 21 from Virgil Films.

The documentary follows John Yost, who had a frightening experience one summer as a young child, something so awful that his parents could hardly make out his terrifying account of what happened. A series of doctor’s visits and medical examinations could not conclude exactly what had occurred, but the memories would never leave him. Yost had a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind. Despite this, he later married, raised children and lived a happy life except for his obsessive preoccupation with home security, paralyzing fear of open skies or deep water, and his abiding sense that he was being watched. 

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Alien Abduction: Answers follows Yost as he discovers that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life all over the globe who have experienced something similar. Viewers witness a dramatization of his encounter as a boy, and through a technique called Quantum Hypnotherapy, they “sit-in” while a highly skilled therapist with more than 40 years of experience guides him back to that summer evening where we finally discover what really happened, where he went, and what he learned.

 

Doc ‘Brothers in Football’ Available via Transactional Digital April 19 From Virgil

The documentary Brothers in Football will be released on VOD and digital sellthrough April 19 from Virgil Films.

The film follows a team of amateur footballers who attempt to fulfill a mission never completed on the eve of the first world war. Their ensuing adventure sees them travel around the world to face the FIFA World Champions in front of millions — to honor and commemorate their forefathers who fell in record numbers on the battlefields of France.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Doc ‘The Choir and Conductor’ Due for Digital Purchase and VOD April 12 From Virgil

The documentary The Choir and Conductor will be released for digital purchase and VOD April 12 from Virgil Films.

Musician Billie Eilish, who has a brief appearance in the film as an alumna of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, learned to sing starting at age 8 when she, like thousands of choristers, was electrified by its charismatic conductor Anne Tomlinson, who uses the power of choral singing to profoundly shape and impact the lives of hundreds of children.  In addition to Eilish, composers  such as John Williams, Gustavo Dudamel, John Mayer, Peter Sellars, and others have performed with the choir known as the LACC.  

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film, which chronicles the story of the LACC, is a celebration of music and the arts. According to a report issued by Chorus America “more than 1 in 5 households have at least one singing family member, making choral singing the most popular form of participation in the performing arts for both adults and children.”

 

Doc ‘The Invisible Father’ Available Digitally March 8 From Virgil

The documentary The Invisible Father will be released on VOD and for digital purchase March 8 from Virgil Films.

In the 1960s, beat poet and experimental filmmaker Piero Heliczer helped shape New American Cinema, and was enmeshed with iconic filmmaker Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground at the very start of their careers. Through interviews with family and friends, found photos, and archival footage, Piero’s daughter Thérèse explores the artistic legacy and life of a man she never knew.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The intimate documentary explores the promise and perils of leading an authentic, creative life, and the impact that it can have on the people you leave behind in the process. 

 

Doc ‘100 Years From Mississippi’ Due for Digital Sale and on VOD Feb. 1 From Virgil

The documentary 100 Years From Mississippi will be released on VOD and for digital purchase Feb. 1 from Virgil Films.

The film chronicles the experiences of Mamie Lang Kirkland, who was 7 years old when she fled Ellisville, Miss., in 1915 with her mother and siblings as her father and his friend John Hartfield escaped an approaching lynch mob. Hartfield returned to Mississippi in 1919 and was killed in one of the most horrific lynchings of the era.

Mamie’s son Tarabu had grown up hearing stories of Hartfield but didn’t know if his mother’s stories were fact or folklore until one day in 2015 when he discovered an article describing Hartfield’s murder before a crowd of 10,000 spectators.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Mamie had vowed for a century that she would never return to Mississippi. Yet with Tarabu’s remarkable find, he urged his mother to finally confront her childhood trauma by returning to Ellisville. Mamie was 107 when they began the journey to connect her story to the larger impact of America’s legacy of racial violence, which echoes today from Ferguson to New York, Atlanta to Los Angeles. Like many of the 6 million African-Americans who left the Deep South, Mamie’s story is a testament to the courage and hope of her generation. Her indomitable will and contagious joy of living come through as she tells her story 111 years later. 

Looking Back at 2021: Home Entertainment Struggles to Find the New Normal

NEWS ANALYSIS — The shadow of COVID-19 continued to hang over 2021, despite rosy predictions the previous summer that the worst would soon be over.

By mid-year, with a vaccine rollout in full swing, most restrictions were lifted and theaters were welcoming back moviegoers, particularly after studios once again began stepping up movie production. This theatrical recovery continued, unchecked, through the emergence of the summer Delta variant and the beginning of the winter Omicron surge. Indeed, the December 2021 theatrical opening of Spider-Man: No Way Home generated $260 million in domestic ticket sales, the second-highest North American box office opening. Domestic box office revenue for 2021 is estimated at $4.5 billion, more than twice what it generated in 2020 but still down 61% from 2019, the last year before the virus hit.

Meanwhile, the entertainment world in 2021 was rocked by two major announcements: Amazon bought a movie studio, MGM, for $8.45 billion, and AT&T announced plans to spin-off WarnerMedia through a merger with Discovery, resulting in a new media powerhouse, Warner Bros. Discovery, under Discovery Inc.’s CEO David Zaslav. The deal, approved by the European Commission in December, is expected to be completed in mid-2022, pending Discovery shareholder and federal regulatory approval.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Sadly, the year ended on a down note, with Omicron leading to theater closures in Europe and the cancellation or postponement of several key entertainment-industry events, including The Critics Choice Awards, the National Board of Review’s annual gala, the Palm Springs Film Festival, and BAFTA Los Angeles’ annual tea party for the awards season.

The year also saw the vindication of WarnerMedia’s controversial plan, announced at the end of the prior year, to release its entire theatrical slate simultaneously on its HBO Max streaming service. Initially railed against as a death blow to the movie business, the strategy in retrospect kept the business alive, providing a steady stream of high-profile new product to movie theaters hungry for fresh films, even if they no longer would be exclusive to the big screen.

Jim Wuthrich

“2021 marked the first anniversary of HBO Max and, with it, a whole new distribution pattern for movies,” said Jim Wuthrich, president of content distribution for WarnerMedia. “Due to the pandemic and uncertainty of closures, WarnerMedia made all of its movies available on HBO Max and in theaters at the same time. This was great for movie fans, as they could watch movies such as Wonder Woman 1984 or Godzilla vs. Kong at home or in theaters.”

Mixed Results

On the home entertainment front, 2021 was the proverbial mixed bag for the industry’s two segments, subscription streaming and transactional/physical.

The first few months of 2021 were clouded in uncertainty, as the winter surge of the virus delayed the reopening of movie theaters well into the spring. Studios held back their big releases until their opening strategy — theaters, PVOD or both — could be determined.

Streaming, not surprisingly, continued to flourish at the accelerated pace that began a year earlier with the onset of the pandemic. Consumer spending on subscription video-on-demand services soared more than 20% in the first half, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group estimates — and those numbers don’t include Amazon Prime Video, which is considered in the same league as Netflix.

Amy Jo Smith

“The growth in subscription streaming in 2021 can be attributed to consumers who continued to spend time at home, increasing their engagement with content offered through an abundance of new direct-to-consumer subscription services, including Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock, AMC+ and many others,” said Amy Jo Smith, DEG president and CEO. “These services provide consumers premium content with convenience and value.”

Disc and digital sales of movies in the first half of 2021, meanwhile, were off by more than 25% from the prior year, while combined disc and digital rental (TVOD) revenue suffered a first-half decline of more than 30%, according to estimates prepared by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

TVOD Recovers

As the year progressed, subscription streaming continued to clearly dominate home entertainment, even as the transactional side of the business began to recover in the wake of theatrical reopenings that remained on track despite the summer emergence of the more contagious Delta variant. Final year-end DEG numbers are not yet in, but by the third quarter disc and digital sales had trimmed their quarterly decline to 12% while rentals were off just 14%.

“Factors limiting transactional growth in 2021 include few new theatrical releases, which are historically a key driver of home entertainment spending,” Smith said. ”This was particularly true early in the year. Spending on library titles, however, has been notably strong throughout the pandemic, and with theatrical new releases restarting mid-year, we saw spending on home purchases of new releases beginning to pick up in the third quarter. We expect to see this trend continuing when the full year is tallied.”

“Looking back at the year, 2021 certainly had its challenges, but there were some high notes as well for our business,” notes Jason Spivak, EVP of distribution for North American Television & Home Entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Jason Spivak

“Early in the year, we were blown away by the tremendous success of Monster Hunter on both physical and digital formats. We achieved strong PVOD results on The Father and Don’t Breathe 2. And throughout the year we saw consistent strength in our digital catalog,  particularly our drafting efforts around the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise.

“The biggest highlight for our business, however, has been the fourth-quarter theatrical performances of Venom: Let There Be CarnageGhostbusters: Afterlife and, of course, the worldwide phenomenon that is Spider-Man: No Way Home.  These films demonstrate that consumers are excited to return to theaters and that they crave the communal experience that can only be achieved in a movie theater.”

WarnerMedia’s Jim Wuthrich said his company’s strategy of releasing its news films to theaters and streaming on the same day “did add an element of unpredictability to [traditional, transactional] home entertainment in forecasting demand, as it was unique to have streaming as the first window.” Ultimately, he said, “we found that there is robust demand for transactional (EST/TVOD/physical), despite the change in windowing.”

Bob Buchi

Bob Buchi, president of Paramount Home Entertainment, said that while 2021 “certainly did not go as planned, consumers again turned to home entertainment options in record numbers.  Throughout the year’s unprecedented circumstances, Paramount continued to experiment with new release windowing, maximized the power of our exceptional library, and supported the ongoing growth of Paramount+.”

With very different release strategies, Buchi added, A Quiet Place Part II, Snake Eyes and Paw Patrol: The Movie “delivered tremendous results across each studio window thanks to the cumulative marketing muscle and cross-company promotional efforts, which bodes well for the ongoing coexistence of every platform.”

Paramount also saw consumer spending on catalog titles remain strong, “representing nearly 60% of annual revenue and holding steady to slightly up compared to the extraordinary sales in 2020 across physical and digital worldwide,” Buchi said.  “Digital sales, in particular, have been exceptionally strong during the pandemic, with a compounded annual growth rate of over 25% compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels globally.”

Paramount also scored with the 40th anniversary of the “Indiana Jones” franchise with the first 4K Ultra HD release of the films on both disc and digital platforms, Buchi noted. “And on the television front, home entertainment consumers continue to flock to ‘Yellowstone,’ with nearly 3 million digital transactions for season four, which launched in November.”

Michael Bonner

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president Michael Bonner said that while 2021 “remained unpredictable and challenging on several fronts … consumers’ engagement with content has never been stronger. During these unprecedented times, the studios have served audiences well by embracing unconventional release patterns and new business models giving consumers more ways to access and enjoy movies.”

Bonner added that “engagement is up, and it’s happening across various services and business models. For Universal, our new release home entertainment business remained very strong in 2021 as we saw with F9, The Croods: A New Age, Let Him Go, Promising Young Woman and several others, with a significant contribution coming from our new PVOD window and followed by our traditional home entertainment offering.  On top of that, similar to 2020, we saw our library business reaching historical levels.”

Distribution Deals

On the physical side of the business, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate in February 2021 announced a multiyear agreement in which Sony will handle distribution of Lionsgate’s DVD/Blu-ray Disc releases in the U.S. and Canada beginning in July. Lionsgate’s North American packaged-media distribution had been handled by the former 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which was acquired in 2019 by Disney.

Lionsgate continues to maintain its own independent sales and marketing teams, but is leveraging SPHE’s supply chain and distribution services. At the time Sony’s Jason Spivak said, “By working together, we can identify and leverage efficiencies in the supply chain that will benefit not only our respective studios, but also retailers and, ultimately, the millions of consumers who enjoy Sony Pictures and Lionsgate feature films and TV programs in the 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD formats.”

Two months after the Sony-Lionsgate deal was announced came the official launch of Studio Distribution Services (SDS), a joint venture between Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to distribute packaged media in the United States and Canada.

“Starting any business in a pandemic is challenging, but one that relies on delivering physical goods to stores across two countries during a supply chain upheaval is not for the faint of heart,” WarnerMedia’s Wuthrich said. “The SDS team, along with the studios, did a great job managing through a challenging time.”

Eddie Cunningham, the former Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president who was tapped to run SDS, told Media Play News earlier in the year, “We, with our many supply chain partners in manufacturing, distribution and freight, are doing everything in our power to mitigate those pressure points.

“Sometimes meeting delivery dates and keeping retail on-shelf availability at our usual high industry standards has been difficult. It is a huge focus across our company and everything in supply chain that we used to check weekly is now daily, and everything we did daily is almost hourly, as we constantly re-assess priorities.”

Streaming Fatigue and the Rise of AVOD

While disc sales continue to be a priority for the big Hollywood studios, along with digital movie sales and rentals, streaming clearly remains the dominant force in home entertainment. As of the end of the third quarter, streaming accounted for nearly 80% of total consumer spending this year on home entertainment, or $18.6 billion. Total consumer spending on disc and digital sales and rentals in the first nine months of the year was just $5 billion.

And yet subscription streaming did face several challenges, including consumer fatigue — stemming largely from the rising costs of subscribing to multiple services — and rapid gains in free ad-supported platforms such as Pluto and Tubi. In professional consultancy Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Media Survey, more than half of the respondents said they are re-evaluating multiple streaming subscriptions, and 40% said they planned on terminating at least one subscription. Adriana Waterston, SVP of insights and strategy at Horowitz, told Media Play News in November that streamers are feeling overwhelmed by the proliferation of services, with many struggling to figure out what to watch, and where.

In December, a TVision survey found that time spent on subscription video-on-demand platforms decreased 8.6% from the first quarter to the third quarter of 2021, while time spent on ad-supported VOD increased 9.3%. It should be noted that the SVOD decline may be due, at least in part, to the vaccine rollout and people once again venturing out into the world, while AVOD growth includes not just SVOD dropouts but also linear TV audiences. Regardless, speaking in December at an OTT.X conference, Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia said the FAST/AVOD business is projected to reach $4 billion by 2024.

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher, president and CEO of OTT.X, the trade association for streamers, said free ad-supported streaming is just one more option that is leading to continued growth for the overall home entertainment business.

“Internet-based delivery today gives the consumer so many more opportunities and more choices to enjoy great content — both on demand and linear,” he said. “Some prefer long-form, some short-form; some prefer to watch without ads, while others watch ads to avoid paying; some like to watch what they want, when they want, while others like the sit-back FAST experience; some want to build their cloud-based collections and others just want to watch once; some like to watch big-budget spectacles and other enjoy good indie-produced stories; and many are adding the diversity of international content and niche content and channels. Opportunity and choice benefit everybody.”

He’s got a point. Overall, the home entertainment business is on track for another record year. The DEG’s estimate of $23.6 billion in total consumer spending in the first nine months of this year is up 6.3% from the spending total at this same point in 2020.

Converging Businesses

And the two sectors of the business, streaming and transactional, are converging.

One of best examples of this is that while Redbox’s legacy disc-rental kiosks remain the company’s cash cow, a massive digital transformation — fueled by the company going public in October — is expanding the Redbox brand into digital, with a particular emphasis on streaming. Redbox Free Live TV, an ad-supported streaming service that launched in February 2020, now has more than 100 channels offering viewers free access to movies and television shows, news, and lifestyle and sports entertainment programming. In December, Redbox began advertising its digital products on its kiosks.

Galen Smith

Asked how Redbox fared in 2021, CEO Galen Smith said that on the kiosk and TVOD side, “ We continued to see a significant impact on the quantity of new release movies due to production being paused as a result of COVID, with fewer movies in 2021 than 2020. The good news is we anticipate the number of new theatrical movies releasing in 2022 should be back to levels not seen since 2019.”

As for streaming, he said, “2021 was a growth year for us — as we rapidly scaled both our AVOD service and FAST channels.”

Redbox going public, Smith noted, “provided us with additional capital to invest in the ongoing digital transformation of Redbox, as we built on our transactional video-on-demand service with growth in AVOD (more than 5,000 titles on demand) and FAST (more than 125 linear channels including five that are Redbox branded) and a subscription channels business coming in 2022.”

On the Indie Front

Independent film distributors, meanwhile, are finding the plethora of streaming services a whole new market for their films, augmenting their traditional TVOD and physical release.

“It’s always a good thing when new channels appear where we can license our films,” said Joe Amodei, president and CEO of Virgil Films & Entertainment. “The major accounts still rule in this area, but as they have dwindled down their buying in favor of original films and series we’ve enjoyed doing business with this new group of folks. It’s great.”

Indies also say they are finding their disc businesses remarkably resilient. Ed Seaman, COO of MVD Entertainment, said 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray “continues to surprise us. Sales are really strong, possibly because there aren’t a ton of products in this space, but mainly because our trade partners/content providers are choosing excellent content and do a great job lovingly restoring and filling these editions with great bells and whistles.

“Compared to last year, 2021 was far more stable. We knew we were in a pandemic and we didn’t have the fear of the unknown like last year, where we didn’t know what impact a lockdown would have on our business and our customers. We learned in 2020 that when everyone is stuck at home during a pandemic, home entertainment products and services are pretty popular. We were able to execute our plans with greater confidence in 2021 that the market was not going to fall apart, and we had a really strong year as a result.”

John Rotella

John Rotella, SVP for Shout! Factory, said the company saw “unbelievable growth in catalog and new-release sales” during the pandemic year of 2020, “and that swell carried forward into 2021.”

Shout! Factory, he said, “saw one of our best years ever on gross shipments and an equally impressive net business. We also saw growth in POS revenue in 2021. The DVD and Steelbook/4K business grew again as Blu-ray sales stayed even compared to 2020. New-release and catalog as a whole all improved from a surprising and productive year, led by our new Western, Old Henry, and 4K ‘Halloween’ releases.”

Some of this success, Rotella said, “can also be attributed to a less competitive new-release marketplace, upgraded and repackaged catalog, developing more valuable collectable products at a higher price and managing the right genre that works for mass [merchants]. Walmart and Amazon continue to offer new-release and catalog opportunities, and we saw an e-commerce surge in business. Looking back, 2021 unexpectedly managed to match 2020 in POS and shipments and remained far superior to 2019 in every area.”

On the downside, the supply chain crisis has compounded ongoing problems with limited replication opportunities, resulting in delays in bringing product to market.

“We were hugely affected by inbound transportation challenges, mostly from the U.K. and Europe, where many of our top clients reside,” MVD’s Seaman said. The situation improved toward the end of the year, he said. “I doubt the Omicron strain will cause lockdowns again, and I’m keeping my fingers are crossed that the labor challenges at the border are mostly conquered,” he said.

New Ways of Doing Things

Another home entertainment trend that continued in 2021 is the consolidation of theatrical and home entertainment teams. Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and Lionsgate went through their respective integrations in 2020; Paramount Pictures followed in March 2021 with a restructuring that led to the exit of 23 home entertainment marketing and distribution personnel, including marketing chief Vincent Marcais, respected publicity head Brenda Ciccone, and Dina Marovich, SVP of worldwide media and interactive marketing.

A new way of doing things sometimes finds home entertainment executives branching out beyond their wheelhouses.

“Somewhat out of the traditional course of business, our team successfully managed the launch of Virtual Reality experiences at the new Harry Potter store in New York City,” Warner’s Wuthrich said. “These two experiences allow Potter fans the ultimate experience of visiting Hogwarts or flying high above London on broomsticks while battling Death Eaters. The experiences have sold out since launching this summer and have been garnering rave reviews.  We look forward to expanding the number of locations in 2022 so more Potter fans will have a chance to live the experience.”

The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses

DIGITAL REVIEW:

Street Date 11/23/21;
Virgil;
Documentary;
Not rated.

Beautifully shot in America’s sparsely inhabited landscapes, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses chronicles the history and current state of wild horses in the United States. Executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen, the feature takes audiences to places few people have seen, where more than 80,000 mustangs live on federal land. The film, featuring music by Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris with an original song by Blanco Brown, showcases the steeds galloping free across hills, meadows and valleys in a series of glorious panoramas that complement the beauty of the animals. It explores the inspirational nature of the mustang, from its namesake automobile to its role as a companion for “The Lone Ranger.”

While tracing wild horses’ history of faithful service, the feature also covers their exploitation. Once captured for “free energy” to pull plows and trolleys, the mustang also traveled to serve the French and British during World War I. But when the horse gave way to the machine, mustangs were slaughtered for feed and dog meat until their numbers were depleted.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The documentary follows the efforts of those who worked to save and preserve the mustang, chronicling the story of Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston, who advocated for the wild horses with the help of a children’s crusade. In 1971, Nixon signed a law to protect them.

Now, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the mustang population — with no natural predators — has grown too big for its prescribed area. The documentary looks at various programs and volunteers trying to help, following a band of women chasing the mares to distribute birth control and traveling to a sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In one of the most affecting segments, the documentary visits “Operation Wild Horse,” which pairs veterans with mustangs as restorative therapy. The feature also follows “Mustang Makeovers,” in which trainers are given 100 days to tame a mustang for competition and sale at auction, capturing the bond each trainer has with a horse that they must ultimately give away.

Shots of the free-ranging herds are a treat for lovers of horses and the Wild West, very effectively making the case for the mustangs’ conservation (though segments about their exploitation may not be appropriate for children). Ultimately, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses, which shines a light on a little-known issue, manages to both inspire awe as well as a call to action.

Doc ‘Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholics’ Due on VOD Dec. 7 From Virgil

The documentary Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholics will be released on VOD Dec. 7 from Virgil Films.

The film explores the legacy of faith among Native Americans. Indigenous communities throughout the continent were practicing their faith centuries before the founding of the United States. The documentary reveals how in the 16th century, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to an Indigenous elder as a mestiza woman and generated the largest conversion in world history. It chronicles the story of the first canonized Native American saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and a 20th century Lakota healer, Nicholas Black Elk, whose cause for canonization is currently open in Rome.

The film also promotes a greater awareness of the wrongs inflicted upon Native Americans by the unjust policies of the British and American governments.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

 

Docs ‘Bowden Dynasty’ and ‘The Mustangs’ Available on VOD and Digital Purchase in November From Virgil

The documentaries The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football and The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses will be released on VOD and digital sellthrough in November by Virgil Films.

The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football is due on VOD and digital sellthrough Nov. 9. It chronicles the career of college football coach Bobby Bowden, who fought against all odds to forge one of the greatest achievements in sports history: 14 consecutive top-four seasons. Legendary for his unyielding faith, Bowden inspired untold acts of grace and courage that changed the lives of those around him. Beginning with a come-from-behind victory in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles began a flirtation with perfection. In seven of those years they lost just one game.  More often than not, the Seminoles’ quest for a perfect season came down to one play where mere inches or seconds determined the outcome.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Bowden passed away this past August at his Killearn Estates home surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old. For all the accolades bestowed upon Coach Bowden and his teams for their on-field achievements, the insider stories of the coach and his enormous impact on those around him have never been told like this. Featuring such luminaries as Bart Starr, Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, Kenny Chesney, Burt Reynolds, Lou Holtz, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Kelly and Nick Saban, The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family, & Football extends beyond football, to explore universal themes of faith, stewardship, humility and redemption.

The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses is being released on VOD and digital sellthrough Nov. 23. The feature documentary is executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen, and takes audiences on an odyssey throughout America to places few people have seen or even know about. There are more than 80,000 wild horses on federal lands and more than 50,000 in government.

“The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps said. “From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse — popularly known as the mustang — is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question.”

The movie makes the case for the protection of wild horses and public lands.