Biz types fire up Blowtorch


A group of Madison Avenue and Hollywood veterans are joining forces to launch a new media company targeting the young adult market, with content including an upcoming feature-length film from producer Paul Schiff.

Dubbed Blowtorch, the company, which has raised $50 million in financing, will focus on the 18- to 24-year-old market, create and distribute content ranging from feature-length films and shorts to mobile offerings and have an online social community. It will also develop branded entertainment for live events.

Currently in negotiations with theater owners, Blowtorch plans to distribute its content — including its own films — to hundreds of screens geographically concentrated in major cities and large college markets.

Its first feature film release, set for a spring debut, is "You Are Here," produced by Schiff, directed by Henry Pincus and featuring Bijou Phillips, Danny Masterson and Michael Biehn.

Additionally, Blowtorch has partnered with Vivendi Visual Entertainment to distribute Blowtorch films on DVD.

Schiff, whose producing credits include "Date Movie" and "Mona Lisa Smile," serves as a board member and advisor, while interactive marketing executive Kelly Rodriques is the company's CEO. Other members of Blowtorch's executive team include producer Rich Hull and marketing executives Renetta McCann and Steve Weinswig.

"Our team recognizes that there is an opportunity to build a new type of company focused solely on serving the media consumption behaviors of young adults while providing an experience they can trust and be passionate about," said Rodriques.