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MTI, Sterling Partner on 'Flight 93'

28 Mar, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

MTI Home Video and Sterling Entertainment have teamed up to release one of the highest-profile releases for both companies — Flight 93.

The movie — a dramatic narrative that tells the story of the brave passengers who thwarted terrorists and whose plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field Sept. 11, 2001 — originally aired on the A&E channel and streets on DVD May 2.

Flight 93 was the highest-rated program ever on the cable channel, garnered rave reviews around its broadcast and was even the focus of a segment on “The Larry King Show.”

Sterling will be handling the title's release into sellthrough markets, and MTI will use its expertise on the rental side. Flight 93 marks the fourth time the two companies have quietly married resources for a title.

Sterling has its own channels into sellthrough retailers but looked to collaborate with MTI for key titles that might have great appeal for rental, said Steve Chase, VP of content and business development for Sterling.

“We think they are the right people to work with,” Chase said.

This title has broad appeal, said Jay Grossman, VP of sales and acquisitions for MTI. Word of mouth is already buzzing, he said.

“The filmmakers really did a wonderful job,” Grossman said. “It's very sensitive, explaining the events from all angles and it wasn't overtly violent.”

Both companies also have a share a feeling of sensitivity toward the marketing of Flight 93. It's one of those titles that it's important to strike a balance on, and not cross over into exploitation of a very sad, fairly recent tragedy in American history, they said.

“This is a title that the timing is very important on, relative to the respect for what happened and the people involved” Chase said. “A year ago was probably too early.”

Sterling and MTI will partner again in May for the release of Ozzie, a family film about a cuddly Koala who is in danger of being captured and cloned by a nefarious businesswoman (starring Joan Collins).

Ozzie streets May 30 and is $19.95 on DVD.

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