EXCLUSIVE: Paladin has U.S. distribution rights to Billboard, the latest film from Zeke Zelker. The movie starring John Robinson, Heather Matarazzo and Eric Roberts will begin its theatrical run April 5 in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, with plans to expand later in the month.
The theatrical release will be one prong of a multi-platform push for the film, written, directed and produced by Zelker (InSearchOf, Loggerheads). The plot centers on a struggling radio station in Pennsylvania that hosts a billboard-sitting contest in a last-ditch attempt to stay on the air.
Zelker via his iDreamMachine production banner also created a 25-episode web series that follows a day in the life of the four contestants in the film, which co-stars Leo Fitzpatrick, Darlene Cates and Oakes Fegley. The series will be available to digital audiences February. There also will be a virtual radio station that parallels the station portrayed in the film; the faux station promotes the participating bands who, in turn, will promote the film.
Zelker and his team will also host live events around the country sponsored by the fictitious station, WTYT 960.
“We’re excited to be sharing Billboard in cinemas across the country, doing pop-up events at various theaters,” Zelker said. “We want to make the moviegoing experience fun again. In every twist and turn of this project we want to entertain people in different ways.”
Said Paladin’s Mark Urman: “Billboard deftly blends comedy and drama in showing us the extraordinary things that ordinary people do to get by in today’s America. Zeke has created a trenchant commentary on the way we live now, made all the more exciting because he’s presenting it in such a strikingly contemporary way.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.