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Ventura Ventures Into Sci-Fi

6 May, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to exploit what one executive describes as an underserved science-fiction market, Ventura Entertainment has inked a two-year deal with Los Angeles-based CFQ Media to create CFQ Video, a proprietary label catering to the DVD distribution of sci-fi, fantasy and horror fare.

Under the agreement, CFQ will acquire and package up to nine films a year, with Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Ventura's in-house specialty label, Ventura Select, handling worldwide distribution, marketing and TV broadcast opportunities.

No specific titles, prices or release dates have been announced.

CFQ is a well-established acronym within the sci-fi community due in part to its Cinefantastique Magazine, a 30-year-old print source for genre news, reviews and retrospectives, and CFQ Films, producer of select theatrical releases, including the 2003 sleeper zombie film House of the Dead (Artisan/Lions Gate Entertainment).

A sequel to the $11 million box office film is in postproduction.

“We knew [CFQ] had the knowledge to create and build a great science-fiction label,” said Cliff MacMillan, VP of Ventura Select. “And they knew, as we do, that the science-fiction genre isn't as popular as the horror genre, so we felt it was a market that needed some focus.”

MacMillan said initial releases would revolve around sci-fi feature films and TV series not yet released on DVD. Future titles would expand to include fantasy and horror — genres covered extensively in Cinefantastique.

The CFQ Video releases would be marketed in the magazine and sister publication, Femmes Fatales, as well as online at cfq.com.

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