AFM 2011: Crystal Edge Launching Theatrical Distribution Division

James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini
 Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Crystal Edge, which is part of the Crystal Sky group of companies run by CEO Stephen Paul, is launching a theatrical domestic distribution arm to handle releases on up to 500 North American screens, and has raised a new fund from private investors to cover marketing and distribution.

The first film they will release is Down the Shore, a thriller starring James Gandolfini and Famke Janssen, directed by Harold Guskin. It’s the story of three childhood friends whose lives unravel when a secret from their past is revealed.

Crystal Edge, which is about a year old, is described as the “prestige and genre label” of Paul’s operations. It is set up to acquire as well as produce  and finance  at least 10 feature  films a year, according to a company announcement on Friday.

Paul would not say how much as been raised but it is in the millions of dollars.

The company also announced details of three other movies that are new to this market. Carmel-By-the-Sea is a thriller starring Hayden Pannetierre, Alfred Molina and Josh Hutcherson (one of the lead’s in Lionsgate’s upcoming Hunger Games). It is about a teenager in a coastal town in California who gets caught up in the cutthroat world of art forgery.

They also are selling Pizza Man, starring Frankie Muniz and Stan Lee. It’s about a bumbling pizza delivery boy who becomes an unlikely superhero, and then must rescue a girl.

They are also handling A Christmas Wish, starring Kristy Swanson, which will be distributed domestically by Entertainment One. It will also be on the Hallmark Channel.

All of these films were brought to Crystal Edge by Jason Price, who also serves as an executive producer on each of them. He has a new first look producing deal with the Crystal Sky group. His producing credits include Without Men, which starred Christian Slater and Eva Longoria, which got a limited theatrical release this past summer.

They have also negotiated a new non-exclusive video output deal with Anchor Bay in North America. Crystal Edge also will work with Anchor Bay for DVD distribution in Australia, UK and Canada. They plan to do up to 15 films together each year. That deal was negotiated by Scott Karol of Crystal Sky and Bill Clark and Marc Barson for Anchor Bay.

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