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Cinedigm and Rapid Eye Films Announce New Genre Arm

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Cinedigm and Rapid Eye Films Announce New Genre ArmThe times they are a changing, kids! And as technology advances so does the means of getting our entertainment. The latest announcement comes courtesy of Cinedigm and Rapid Eye Films who are looking to increase their genre output. Read on for details.

From the Press Release
Cinedigm Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM) and Rapid Eye Film announced today they have entered into a multi-picture distribution and production output deal for North America encompassing 15 films. Rapid Eye Film (REF) will produce, co-produce or acquire three to four genre-centric films per year. Cinedigm will handle the theatrical and home entertainment release and distribution strategy for each picture, with REF producing and managing the marketing.

The deal provides REF guaranteed distribution for the films across all platforms, and provides Cinedigm a steady slate of independent genre films, including science fiction and suspense thrillers. Cinedigm will be involved in all stages of production.

Filmmaker Marco Weber created Rapid Eye Film with the mandate to produce and distribute elevated genre fare. Recently, the company released the low budget feature CALIFORNIA SCHEMING (written and directed by Weber), starring Gia Mantegna and Chad Lowe.

“This deal signifies a critical shift in Cinedigm’s content and distribution strategy,” said Bill Sondheim, President of Cinedigm Entertainment. “We are now one of the industry’s strongest independent distribution businesses, with unparalleled mass merchant physical capabilities, along with strong theatrical and digital expertise. Leveraging these potent attributes – along with our growing cable and broadcast reach –allows us to acquire productions with higher profile casts in commercially popular genres. Marco and Rapid Eye really understand this marketplace making them ideal partners to bolster Cinedigm’s mainstreaming approach and to provide us with a robust pipeline of genre content.”

“To be appointed the genre label for one of the strongest independent distributors in the industry marks an important step for REF. Cinedigm’s commitment towards these films’ budgets as well as its significant release and P&A support will make this a real alternative for any genre filmmaker and talent with a unique idea,” said Weber. “This deal will enable us to take advantage of digital filmmaking on the production side as well as on the distribution side. I am looking forward to working with Bill and Cinedigm’s entire team to make a significant impact on our targeted audience.”

Weber is a veteran filmmaker who has produced a number of high profile films including IGBY GOES DOWN with Kieran Culkin, Clare Danes, Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum; THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR starring Craig Bierko and Grethchen Mol; UNTHINKABLE with Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie-Anne Moss; THE INFORMERS with Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke, and FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN with Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson and Julia Roberts.

Weber and attorney Paul Mayersohn of Surpin and Mayersohn negotiated the deal with Yolanda Macias, EVP Acquisitions, negotiating for Cinedigm.

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Video: The Shape of Water Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

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This past weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA betwixt a double screening of The Shape of Water and the classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the former’s director Guillermo del Toro (and star Doug Jones) sat down to discuss the latter’s influence on the film, Gill-man sex, “one sock movies,” his career in the genre, and more with moderator Jonah Ray, and we were there to film a portion of it.

Our sincere thanks to American Cinematheque general manager Dennis Bartok for extending the invitation.

For more Cinematheque screenings, visit the official website here.

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Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

BUY IT NOW!

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Saw-inspired Game Play With Me Sets a Trap on Steam

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Saw fans have a lot to be happy about right now. In addition to Jigsaw being teased for Dead by Daylight, a new Saw-themed game called Play With Me has launched on Steam, and although it’s not officially connected with the franchise in any way, developer Airem promised that they created a videogame which looks and plays as though it were made by Jigsaw himself. As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots, the production values and overall quality of Play With Me appear to be considerably higher than most other indie horror games released on Steam, and you’ll probably be very happy to see that Airem took the time and effort to create stylized hand drawn environments rather than using purchased assets from the Unity Store.

The killer behind the sinister traps in Play With Me is known as the Illusion, with the player taking control of investigative journalist Robert Hawk as he tries to fight his way through a series of sick and twisted obstacles created by the lunatic. The voice acting in the trailer was a little cheesy, although we see at 1:09 that the player will be tasked with using a kitchen knife to cut open a dead body (presumably to retrieve an item hidden in the cadaver’s stomach), which is not an image you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

IQ Publishing are offering a 15% discount off Play With Me for those who purchase the game before January 24, so Saw fans might want to mark that deadline in their calendars and purchase it from Steam before the time is up. After all, it can’t be worse than Konami’s awful official Saw videogames.

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