Sundance: GoDigital & Variance Films Merging, Re-Branding As Amplify

GoDigital hired ex-Focus Features exec Kent Sanderson at the beginning of the year as EVP Theatrical Distribution & Merchandising and now has a new role for him: teaming with Variance Films president Dylan Marchetti to help run Amplify, a new all-rights film distributor based in NY that will kick off its acquisitions business at the Sundance Film Festival that starts tomorrow. GoDigital CEO Logan Mulvey will be CEO of the venture, which plans 7-10 films a year. GoDigital and Variance will also continue as separate brands. Here’s the release:

New York, NY (January 14, 2014) – GoDigital, Inc. and Variance Films are merging and will rebrand as Amplify, a new all-rights film distribution company, it was announced today by GoDigital CEO Logan Mulvey and Variance Films President Dylan Marchetti.

Marchetti will serve as Amplify’s Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution & Marketing and will join Kent Sanderson in Amplify’s New York City office. Sanderson was recently brought on to serve as Executive Vice President of Distribution & Merchandising from Focus Features. Mulvey will function as Amplify’s CEO, overseeing operations and administration, and will work directly with Marchetti and Sanderson to lead the merged company.

Amplify plans to release seven to ten films per year across all platforms, with an emphasis on matching quality films with the proper release strategy on a film-by-film basis, whether that be a day and date, traditional, or completely non-traditional pattern. Amplify will be attending the upcoming Sundance Film Festival in a full acquisitions capacity.

Variance and GoDigital will continue to exist as individual brands under Amplify, with Variance partnering directly with filmmakers to release the most exciting independent and foreign films, and GoDigital remaining a major player in the digital distribution space. Marchetti will lead the Variance Films business unit with Sanderson overseeing the core digital distribution business of GoDigital.

Said Mulvey of the announcement, “Dylan and his team at Variance are among the best in the business as theatrical distributors and marketers, and I am truly looking forward to seeing their talents applied to a wider array of films at Amplify.”

“For the last five and a half years, Variance has had the privilege of helping everyone from first-time filmmakers to the founders of independent film release their films theatrically. Now it’s time to take the next step, and GoDigital is the perfect partner to do it with,” said Dylan Marchetti. “The industry is evolving fast, and Amplify is going to be the best of both worlds: aggressive in making sure that our films stand out from the pack in a very loud way, while remaining constantly innovative and filmmaker-friendly.”

The deal was orchestrated by Kevin Iwashina on behalf of Preferred Ventures, the digital media VC launched by former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly and founder Ed Ojdana. Preferred Ventures has been a majority shareholder of GoDigital, Inc. since 2012.

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