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Image Makes Deal With ContentFilm

4 Nov, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Image Entertainment will team up to co-produce feature films with London-based independent production company ContentFilm for future theatrical and direct-to-video releases.

“It's part of our overall strategy of moving into the studio space,” said Barry Gordon, SVP of acquisitions for Image Entertainment.

ContentFilm has a strong reputation in the domestic and international independent film world, he added, thanks in part to ContentFilm's co-CEO, Ed Pressman, who has an impressive track record and reputation producing high-profile indie films like The Cooler, Harvard Man and Party Monster.

The two companies initially plan three to four film releases a year, which will be jointly produced, financed and distributed by Image and ContentFilm under a new ContentFilm Home Video label. The companies will share copyrights, and the films will be intended for theatrical release, with revenue primarily driven by worldwide DVD distribution.

“This agreement will build both our library and Image's as we find new and talented young directors, and hopefully unearth some new franchise opportunities,” said Pressman in a statement about the deal.

This summer, Image also teamed up with Los Angeles-based Dark Horse Entertainment to form the Dark Horse Home Entertainment label for the joint production, distribution and co-ownership of direct-to-video projects as well as theatrical releases, animated content and soundtrack albums.

With these two deals, the theatrical and video market should start to see Image Entertainment in a new light, Gordon said.

“The merger of Lions Gate and Artisan sort of left a vacuum open for the next mini-major to emerge,” he said. “What this really does is position Image to move into that space.”

Earlier this year, ContentFilm was looking at purchasing First Look Media for $12 million.

ContentFilm co-CEO John Schmidt said the company is pleased to have found a partner in Image. “Our goal is to bring together clever scripts, original direction, recognizable casts and sensible budgets to create films with worldwide video appeal and theatrical potential.”

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