EXCLUSIVE: New York-based Wayfare Entertainment is being re-branded Start Motion Pictures, as part of an ongoing effort of parent company Start Media LLC to unify the branding and operations of it’s growing portfolio of entertainment and media holdings. Set up five years ago by Ben Browning and Start Media CEO Michael Maher, Wayfare Entertainment has produced and fully financed films that have grossed over $130 million worldwide. Wayfare’s past films include Universal’s Sanctum produced with James Cameron, the Focus Features’ drama Its Kind Of A Funny Story, Neil Jordan’s Ondine, and the upcoming Sebastian Cordero-directed space thriller Europa Report to be released by Magnolia Pictures in summer 2013. Upcoming Wayfare projects include an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book for Disney; the recently announced Passengers, which will star Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon; and a development slate including Josh Zetumer’s Villain, an adaptation of Matt Westrup’s award winning creature short The Gate and the Princess Diana conspiracy thriller Inquest.
“It is very exciting to be able to grow within a larger organization as ambitious and forward thinking as Start Media,” said Wayfare CEO Ben Browning. Said Michael Maher, CEO of Start Media “With all of the changes occurring in content generation and distribution the benefit of integrating a best-in-class engine for film content into our larger operation became overwhelmingly clear. Ben and his team at Wayfare have demonstrated an expertise in and appreciation for the realities of the independent film business, along with an ability to source, identify, and bring to life some of the best material in the marketplace.”
Said Start Media COO Vinay Kolla, “Wayfare’s capabilities and relationships give us an immediate foothold in content production and financing. We are excited to be able to capitalize on the hard work and achievement to date.”
Start Media is a privately held media company with interests in exhibition, publishing, and technology. Start Media is acquiring and building content-driven companies well positioned to capitalize on value dislocations emerging from the rapid evolution of media and media consumption. In late 2012 Start Media partnered with exhibitor Digiplex Destinations, an industry pioneer and champion of digital conversion and alternative cinema content, to aggressively grow the Digiplex footprint to 1000 screens in the top 100 markets. The acquisition of UltraStar Cinemas earlier this year was the first acquisition of the partnership. Wayfare’s staff, upcoming film slate and film library will be folded into Start Motion Pictures, which will continue normal business operations producing and financing feature films. Browning will segue to President of Start Motion Pictures.