Toronto: Upstart Outsource Media Group Acquires Mike Newell's 'Great Expectations'

EXCLUSIVE: New funding enterprise Outsource Media Group has made itself known here at the Toronto Film Festival by acquiring North American rights to the Mike Newell-directed Great Expectations. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine, and Holliday Grainger, was sold before its Gala Premiere. Partners Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley produced the film. Great Expectations premieres Tuesday at Roy Thompson Hall.

Outsource Media Group will make a deal with distributors for North America, and the financier will put up P&A for theatrical releases through a fund it intends to use to build an acquisition slate of finished films and pre-buys. In other words, a new indie buyer has entered the scene.

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The company is a private equity fund based in Los Angeles and New York whose financing comes from several corporate and individual investors, including the Canadian film and finance firm, 982 Media. OMG principals, who include Bradley Holmes, Harrison Kordestani and Dan Reardon, plan to. OMG seeks to acquire a mix of specialized and commercial films and put up the P&A for distributors chosen to release each film. Former Warner Bros International president Wayne Duband and former New Line Cinema marketing president Russell Schwartz are advising the new entity.

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Newell’s Great Expectations is a retelling of the classic Charles Dickens tale of the young orphan Pip, who rises from nothing thanks to a mystery benefactor. He uses his newfound position to pursue Estella, an heiress he has loved since childhood. All of this is imperiled as the truth behind his fortune is revealed.

“With our first acquisition of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, we have chosen a perfect film, one that sets the tone and scope for the type of films to which we are looking to provide advertising support,” said Bradley Holmes, CEO of Outsource Media Group. “For the films, it gives the financial support to the release that they deserve, and for our distribution partners, it allows them to add new and important product to their release slates. We look forward to initiating these discussions in Toronto.”

Said Wooley: “Outsource Media Group is a most welcome player to the independent distribution scene and we are very pleased they have chosen Great Expectations to be their premiere offering. “To have a new company providing significant marketing and advertising support is a great addition to the often hard-to-navigate world of independent distribution.”

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The film was partially financed by Hart/Lunsford Pictures and Unison Films, which then sold the North American rights to Outsource Media Group. Hart/Lunsford Pictures is a motion picture finance group based in Louisville, Kentucky, and Unison Films is a production and distribution company based in New York. The balance of the financing came from BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund and Lipsync Productions. Hanway World Sales is handling all international sales of the film.

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