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New Label Launches With Eye on Edgy Foreign Films

26 Sep, 2012 By: Sean Viele

Artsploitation Films, a new movie distribution company dedicated to delivering edgy international films to North American audiences, will put out its debut release in December with Gandu, an independent film from India. 

Raymond Murray, president of Artsploitation Films, is no stranger to the film industry. He is the co-founder and former president of TLA Entertainment, which was founded in 1981. TLA Entertainment operated arthouse cinemas and later, award-winning video stores in New York City and Philadelphia before Murray and his partners launched the North American film distributing company, TLA Releasing, in 2000.

With Artsploitation Films, Murray said the company’s focus is on genre films, “but we will not shy from international thrillers, musicals or any interesting film that strays from the beaten path.”

After viewing Gandu, Murray said it was exactly the kind of film he felt Artsploitation should champion.

“It’s international. It’s drama. It’s an art film. It’s a hyperventilating genre film,” Murray said of Gandu, which was banned in India.

Artsploitation Films will release Gandu on DVD and VOD Dec. 11. The film, directed by Bengali filmmaker Q (Kaushik Mukherjee), is about a poor young man and his dreams of becoming a rap star. This frantic, music-infused black-and-white drama is an example of new Indian filmmaking.

One of the most widely internationally screened South Asian films in recent years, Gandu (Hindi slang for “asshole”) premiered at the 2010 South Asian International Film Festival in New York City, where it won the Jury Award (Runner-Up) for Best Film. The following year, Q won for Best New Director at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival.

Artsploitation also has two films slated for release in theaters and on DVD in 2013: the successful German film Combat Girls and the Lithuanian film Vanishing Waves. Both screened over the weekend at the Fantastic Fest, a film festival in Austin.

About the Author: Sean Viele

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