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Cineplex, Raven Banner to Showcase Indie Horror Films at Canadian Multiplex

John Dies At The End Poster - P 2011

The Sinister Cinema series will kick off with a nationwide screening of Don Coscarelli’s "John Dies At The End," which stars Paul Giamatti.

TORONTO – Genre distributor Raven Banner and Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex Entertainment have partnered for a nationwide showcase of indie horror films that have difficulty getting theatrical distribution.

Cineplex already gets alternative opera and live theater productions into its multiplexes through its Front Row Center-branded programming block as it looks to diversify away from studio tentpoles to drive ticket sales.

Now Michael Kennedy, executive vp of filmed entertainment at Cineplex, has lined up arthouse horror films from Raven Banner that have proved themselves on the festival and frightfest circuit, only to get crowded out of multiplexes.

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“We’re trying to bring extra elements, bring in the director, show extra content after the film. We want to provide an experience, almost a theatrical experience,” Kennedy said of getting indie genre films to breakout of the arthouse circuit.

The monthly Sinister Cinema series will start March 27 with a screening in 25 theaters of Don Coscarelli’s John Dies At The End, which stars Paul Giamatti and was picked up by Raven Banner in Berlin.

The launch event will include a Q&A with Coscarelli and Giamatti.

Raven Banner inked the deal with Cineplex for block distribution of its art house horror films after earlier cutting a genre DVD distribution pact with Anchor Bay Canada.

Raven Banner managing partner Michael Paszt said the Cineplex releasing deal gives his distribution outfit the scale to make indie horror titles possible overground hits at the multiplex.

“We’ve been playing films across Canada, but Cineplex takes our titles into one series, gives them a brand and puts a spotlight on it,” he explained.

Other quirky features to play as part of the Sinister Cinema series include a May 9 date for Rodrigo Gudiño’s The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, which stars Vanessa Redgrave, a May 30 screening for American Mary, by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska, and Ryuhei Kitmaura’s No One Lives, to air on June 19.