Gravitas Ventures and Variance Films will jointly release seven to eight specialty titles per year theatrically in the U.S. and Canada as well as on VOD via cable, satellite, telco and online platforms. The two companies acquisition teams will be at the SXSW Film Festival seeking content for their theatrical/VOD initiative, though both companies will continue to acquire films independently at the festival.

Gravitas Ventures and Variance Films have joined forces to acquire and co-release 7-8 independent films a year in theaters across the US and Canada and on VOD with over 100 cable, satellite, telco and online video on demand operators.  This new distribution offering will allow filmmakers a comprehensive turn-key distribution solution in two areas of the independent film world, theatrical and digital, that have shown year-over-year growth.

Beginning at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Gravitas and Variance will utilize their acquisitions teams to seek out the best independent, documentary, and foreign films that will benefit from a day and date theatrical/VOD release.  While both companies will continue to acquire films separately for their individual slates, the companies expect to be making joint offers on select SXSW titles.

Utilizing a P&A fund created by Gravitas, the films and filmmakers chosen for this release strategy will benefit from working with specialists while retaining their key long-term rights, instead of surrendering them for 15-20 years to a traditional distributor. Variance will execute a theatrical release using the aggressive combination of grassroots, outreach, and traditional marketing it’s become known for, while Gravitas will window and merchandize the film across VOD operators to maximize the financial success in the digital realm

The non-exclusive initiative between the two companies is a natural extension of a relationship built over the last two years covering over a dozen films. Previous titles where Variance has handled theatrical and Gravitas has handled VOD include SXSW favorite American: The Bill Hicks Story as well as renowned titles Amigo, Ip Man, Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, Until the Light Takes Us, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, The Lottery, White on Rice, Passport to Love, and De Mai Tinh (Fool For Love).

“In recent years, consumers have resoundingly shown their willingness to watch more independent films both in theaters and in an on-demand setting.  We are thrilled to acquire and co-release with Variance Films in particular because both of our companies have a proven track record of helping to set films apart from the crowd.” says Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures. “

“This partnership breaks down yet another barrier for filmmakers, creating an exciting and financially viable new alternative for those who might otherwise be forced to either accept a less-than-adequate arrangement or be forced back into the world of fundraising to search for P&A,” said Dylan Marchetti, Founder of Variance Films.  “Day and date VOD/theatrical releasing isn’t a panacea for the independent film industry, and it’s only going to work for the right films.  But for those films, it opens the door to a national audience… and there’s nobody we’d rather kick that door down with than Gravitas Ventures, one of the most forward-thinking companies in the industry.”

For those attending SXSW, Nolan Gallagher and Dylan Marchetti will be part of a case study on the film American: The Bill Hicks Story called How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love VOD. The panel will take place on Monday March 12 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM at the Austin Convention Center, 4th Floor, Room 15.

About Gravitas Ventures
Gravitas Ventures connects independent filmmakers, producers and distribution companies to leading cable, satellite, telco and online distribution partners. Working with more than 500 content partners, Gravitas Ventures aggregates and distributes worldwide thousands of hours of feature films, documentaries, animation, alternative sports, comedy, and music concert programming.  

About Variance Films
Variance Films is a New York City based theatrical distribution company whose sole mission is to bring the best in independent cinema to theaters, while allowing filmmakers to retain all rights to their work.  Founded in 2008 by Dylan Marchetti, Variance distributes films using innovative release strategies that focus on collaborative, filmmaker-centric grassroots marketing and outreach to drive audiences to theaters.  Recent Variance Films theatrical releases include John Sayles’ AMIGO, Brazil’s official submission for the 2011 Academy Awards®, José Padilha’s ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN,  AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY, and martial arts sensation IP MAN 2: LEGEND OF THE GRANDMASTER. Current and upcoming releases include the highest-grossing film of all time in China, Jiang Wen’s hilariously dark action-comedy LET THE BULLETS FLY, and Anne Renton’s dysfunctional family comedy THE PERFECT FAMILY, starring Kathleen Turner (May 4th). For more information, visit http://www.variancefilms.com.