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Mackinac Media Inks Three Distribution Deals

19 Jul, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

An upstart DVD supplier founded earlier this year by the father of home video has snagged three distribution deals that will significantly boost its output.

Mackinac Media, launched in January by Andre Blay, who in 1978 jump-started the video business when he licensed 50 movies from Fox to release on videocassette, has agreed to distribute films and TV shows from Canadian producer-director Derek Diorio, DeLuxe and Laughsmith Entertainment.

“These new deals build upon our strategy of releasing quality programs that have built-in marketability,” said Robert Blay, Andre's son and general manager of Mackinac Media. “Our goal is to become a leader in both retro-home entertainment, breathing new life into classic materials, and bringing the films of contemporary independent directors to a much larger market.”

From Diorio, Mackinac gets worldwide rights to A Taste of Jupiter, Two's a Mob, House of Luk, The Kiss of Debt and Punch and Judy. This marks the first time Diorio's films, favorites at film festivals worldwide, have been available on DVD in the United States.

Mackinac also has secured rights to seven films from Deluxe, including Operation Manhunt, Doomsday Voyage, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Night of 1000 Cats, Hurray for Hollywood and Persecution.

And from Laughsmith, Mackinac gets Industrial Strength Keaton, Chaplin: Oddities, Rarities and Imposters and Our Gang: The Rascals. Formed 13 years ago by filmmakers Paul E. Gierucki and William Hunt, Laughsmith burst onto the scene with Stooges: The Men Behind the Mayhem, part of the A&E “Biography” series — and one of the first titles Mackinac released when it began producing DVDs last April.

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