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Cult Hit 'Broken Saints' Heads to DVD

11 May, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The cult hit “Broken Saints,” a graphic novel-style fantasy epic serialized over the Internet, will soon be available in retail stores on DVD.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has acquired distribution rights to a four-disc collector's set containing all 24 episodes of the groundbreaking flash-animated program.

The DVD set, previously available only online, directly from the creators, has been remastered by Fox and will arrive in stores Aug. 1 at a suggested list price of $49.98.

The original Web premiere of “Broken Saints” in 2001 drew more than 5 million visitors and is credited with helping establish the Internet as a creative and pop cultural force. A series of byte-size mini-episodes totaling 12 hours in length was gradually unrolled over a three-year period on the dedicated Web site www.brokensaints.com.

“Broken Saints” won the Audience Award for online animation at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and writer-director Brooke Burgess was named Producer of the Year at the 2005 Canadian New Media Awards.

“‘Broken Saints' is a prime acquisition — it's a unique property with a built-in audience as well as tremendous upside potential,” said Steve Bersch, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's COO. “It will be a home run with the avidly purchasing anime crowd and it could easily break out and become a mainstream success, too.”

“Broken Saints” tells the story of four strangers — a cynical American programmer, an aging Japanese priest, a troubled Arabic mercenary and a mysterious girl from Fiji — who receive a series of chilling apocalyptic visions of the future. The four are simultaneously drawn to a dark city in the West where they find out what's behind the visions—and what they must do to save the world.

The DVD collection includes optional commentary tracks from the series' creators, fan films, several featurettes, a “making of” documentary and various other extras, including a lecture session with Burgess filmed at the Walker National Art Center in Minneapolis.

Fox's acquisition deal was licensed through Jonathan Boger of Bogner Entertainment Inc. from the series' producers, Budget Monk Productions. No terms were disclosed.

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