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, due on digital 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, 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 Digital and VOD June 18

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to the family comedy The Present and will release the film on digital and 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 via digital, 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.

Comedy Drama ‘Accidental Texan’ Due on Digital and Via On Demand April 23

The comedy drama Accidental Texan arrives on digital and on demand platforms from Lionsgate on April 23.

The film stars Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, Easy A, “Spiderman” movies), Rudy Pankow (“Outer Banks,” Uncharted), Carrie-Anne Moss (“The Matrix” Trilogy, Chocolat), and Academy Award and Golden Globe Nominee Bruce Dern (Nebraska, The Hateful Eight, The Great Gatsby, The Cowboys), and it’s based on the novel Chocolate Lizards by Cole Thompson.

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In the film, Erwin (Rudy Pankow) finds himself stranded in Texas, where he’s taken under the wing of a nearly bankrupt oil driller Merle (Church). They set off on a wild adventure to outwit a corrupt oil company to hit pay dirt before Merle’s dreams are foreclosed.

Comedy ‘The Moon and Back’ Available Digitally April 13

Lionsgate will release the comedy The Moon and Back via on demand and digital purchase April 13.

In the film, a year after her father’s death, high school senior Lydia Gilbert feels completely lost — until she discovers something unexpected: a space opera screenplay needing a blockbuster-sized budget written by her dad. Equipped with just a VHS camera and pocket change, Lydia decides to honor her late father and make the script a reality.

From first time director Leah Bleich, the film stars Isabel May (TV’s “Yellowstone” prequel series “1883” and “1923”), Nat Faxon (TV’s “The Conners”), Missi Pyle, P.J. Byrne and Miles Gutierrez-Riley.

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BayView and Cinema Libre Enter Into Film Distribution Agreement

BayView Entertainment has entered into a collaborative film distribution agreement with Cinema Libre Studio. 

Cinema Libre Studio will continue to acquire new titles and handle theatrical and home video, working directly with key VOD and educational accounts while maintaining DVD and Blu-ray exploitation and fulfillment. BayView will handle Cinema Libre Studio’s aggregation for all other VOD platforms worldwide. The two companies will collaborate on several fronts starting with co-exhibiting at the Marché du Film (film market) during the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Worlds Apart

Headquartered in Burbank, Calif., Cinema Libre Studio was founded 32 years ago by Philippe Diaz, to create an independent movie studio devoted to high-quality, high-profile documentaries and narrative feature films that make a social impact. The studio, complete with an international sales division, develops, produces, distributes, and acquires films of all genres for both theatrical exhibition and home entertainment. Among its 200-plus titles are Oliver Stone’s South of the Border; The End of Poverty?; Worlds Apart with Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons; Antigone, which won Best Canadian Film at the Toronto Film Festival; At War, an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival; and recent releases Method Sampling and Forget Me Not.

“The critically acclaimed Cinema Libre library is robust and dynamic, and we’re thrilled to add it to our award-winning roster of catalog titles and new releases. This bolsters and further enhances our successful line-up of crowd-pleasing favorites,” Peter Castro, BayView’s VP of acquisitions and business development, said in a statement. “Philippe shares our passion for curating diverse content, nurturing exciting young talent, and spotlighting new voices. We are honored to work with him and his team and look forward to sharing success together.”

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“With the big streamers now totally vertically integrated, it is clear that unless independent mini-studios join forces, they won’t be able to compete,” Cinema Libre’s chairman Philippe Diaz said in a statement. “The partnership with BayView allows us to expand our titles’ availability in many new markets and combining our forces will expand both of our capacities as distributors. It will also help us stay at the forefront of the fight for independence. This is why we will be launching our own VOD platform CLSNOW, in the immediate future, which follows the launch of our FAST channel.”

The Cinema Libre agreement comes on the heels of BayView Entertainment’s 2023 output arrangement with Summer Hill Films and its acquisitions of VIPCO and Mutiny Pictures.

Animated ‘The Barkers: Mind the Cats’ Available Digitally April 30

Based on the popular educational animated series “The Barkers,” the feature The Barkers: Mind the Cats will be released on digital and via on demand April 30 from Lionsgate.

The animated adventure finds the lovable canine family on the road for a vacation adventure meeting all new characters including a rambunctious family of cats. 

The Barkers are a family of talking, dancing, trouble-making dogs. When the five Barker pups stay with Grandpa for the summer, poor Kid can’t find anyone to play with: his sisters are starstruck and lovestruck, and inventor Alex is making a jet pack so Max can become a social-media star. When two naughty cats decide to steal the jet pack, they play nice with lonely Kid and the other Barkers as they plot their caper. 

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Thriller ‘Strictly Confidential’ Available Digitally April 5

The thriller Strictly Confidential, the feature film directorial debut of writer-director Damian Hurley and starring Elizabeth Hurley, will be released in theaters and via digital and on demand on April 5 from Lionsgate.

The film follows a haunted young woman, who is desperately trying to unravel the mystery surrounding her best friend’s sudden death. On the anniversary of Rebecca’s death, Mia returns to the Caribbean paradise where she and her best friend shared her final days. As Mia sets out to unravel the mysterious events of her passing, old passions rise, new secrets are uncovered and Mia is pulled into a seductive world of sex, betrayal and murder.

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The film also stars Elizabeth Hurley, Georgia Lock,  Lauren McQueen, Freddie Thorp and Genevieve Gaunt.

Jason Statham Actioner ‘The Beekeeper’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The Jason Statham actioner The Beekeeper topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended March 3.

Available for digital purchase after a premium digital rental run, the Amazon-MGM Studios film rose from No. 6 on the chart the previous week. It follows a former operative of a powerful organization known as the Beekeepers (Statham), who upends his cover life and embarks on a brutal revenge mission to dismantle corruption at the highest levels of society.

Rising from No. 4 to No. 2 on the chart was Warner Bros. DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, newly on sale for digital purchase. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

Warner Bros.’ Wonka fell from No. 2 to No. 3 on the chart. Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical is available for regular digital purchase after a premium run. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Falling from the top spot to No. 4 on the chart was Sony Pictures rom-com Anyone But You, which debuted for digital purchase Feb. 20. It follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), who look like the perfect couple. But after an amazing first date, something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold — until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia.

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Debuting No. 5 on the chart was Searchlight Pictures’ Oscar-nominated Poor Things, which debuted for digital purchase Feb. 27. It’s the tale of the fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 3, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Beekeeper
  2. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  3. Wonka
  4. Anyone But You
  5. Poor Things
  6. Migration
  7. Lisa Frankenstein
  8. The Iron Claw
  9. Wish
  10. Mean Girls (2024)

Gambling Drama ‘Double Down South’ Available On Demand From Level 33

Level 33 Entertainment has released the gambling drama Double Down South via on demand.

Set in the high stakes world of illegal keno-pool gambling, the film follows veteran ace Nick, who is enamored of smart, tough, and charming newcomer Diana and is determined to stake her. Diana must prove herself in a man’s world to win a match against DuBinion, the world’s best shooter. Soon Diana and Nick find themselves in more danger than they ever imagined.

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Written and directed by Academy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Tom Schulman (Dead Poets Society), the film stars Kim Coates (“Bad Blood,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Goon), Lili Simmons (“Banshee,” “True Detective,” “Ray Donovan”), Igby Rigney (F9: The Fast Saga, “The Midnight Club”), Tom Bower (“Lucky Hank,” “Senior Love Triangle,” Die Hard 2), Justin Marcel McManus (“Power Book II: Ghost,” “Search Party,” “Blue Bloods”), Rebecca Lines (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Cobra Kai,” “House of Cards”), and Cameron Cowperthwaite (“American Horror Story,” “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” “Shameless”).