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Cinevolve Announces First Slate at EMA Show

25 Jun, 2008 By: Billy Gil

Cinevolve Studios, a full-service distributor for independent feature films and documentaries, celebrated one year of existence this week at the Home Media Expo by announcing its first slate of theatrical and DVD releases.

Its first DVD, Home Front, streeted June 2. The Showtime documentary is about troops who have been wounded in Iraq coming home. Coming to DVD in November is Becoming Family, a documentary about tsunami relief in Sri Lanka. British black comedy Twelve in a Box will be released theatrically in November and on DVD in Q1 2009, and drama We Pedal Uphill will come out theatrically in November.

Cinevolve was started by two former employees of fellow indie Cinema Libre, who also happen to be filmmakers themselves. Arik Treston, co-founder and CEO, and Nicole Ballivan, co-founder and president, left Cinema Libre in February 2007 and later that June started the Los Angeles-based company.

Along with Sinohui “Joel” Hinojosa, VP of home entertainment, and strategic partnerships with (former head of theatrical for Cinema Libre) Adam Chapnick of Doc Workers, a theatrical consulting and grassroots marketing firm, Cinevolve aims to make the process of distribution easier and more transparent for filmmakers. One effort will involve creating a “distribution 101” for filmmakers and making it readily available on the distributor's Web site, at www.cinevolvestudios.com.

Of the studio's approach to finding films to distribute, Treston said, “The through line of our films is good quality.”

Ballivan added, “Being filmmakers and having had films go around the world, we know there's an audience for these films.”

“As filmmakers we know the perils of distribution,” Treston said.

Ballivan said the studio does not search just for niche titles, but seeks films to which the studio can attach its non-traditional, grassroots marketing efforts. Those efforts include working with various organizations, such as contacting Doctors Without Borders to create a marketing campaign for Becoming Family around the anniversary of the Asian tsunami.

Cinevolve is looking to release two DVDs a month and is aiming to release its first Blu-ray Disc in Q1 of 2009. Treston said they will seek to release a film on Blu-ray “if it's a film that fits the format, looks great and can have a lot of extras.”

Treston, a self-described tech geek who has worked in PR, marketing, acquisitions and sales at various studios, said the company also would like to distribute films electronically through various outlets such as iTunes and Amazon's Unbox.

“It's a brave new world in distribution,” Treston said. “We're excited about where it's going.”

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