FilmRise Acquires All U.S. Rights to Festival Favorite 'Hank and Asha' (Exclusive)

"Hank and Asha"

UPDATED: The new distribution company was recently formed by producers and film financiers Danny Fisher, Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein.

Newly formed distribution outfit FilmRise has acquired all North American rights to Hank and Asha, the independent romantic comedy that won the Audience Award at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival.

The movie will be released theatrically in the first quarter of 2014, beginning with select runs in New York and Los Angeles.

From husband-and-wife team James E. Duff and Julia Morrison, Hank and Asha stars Mahira Kakkar as an Indian woman studying in Prague and Andrew Pastides as a lonely New Yorker. The two begin an unconventional video correspondence that culminates with them deciding whether or not to risk meeting face to face. (Morrison and Duff produced and wrote the movie while teaching at a film school in Prague.)

“We were feeling lonely and isolated, so we decided to make a film about the thrill of making a meaningful connection with someone entirely different from you, and how it can get you through a rough time in your life,” said Duff, who directed the film.

Added FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher: “In terms of technology, we’re more connected than ever before. But are we satisfied? Do we feel understood? These characters are longing for something more. Hank and Asha’s story takes place in a heightened reality -- their relationship is built on expectation and fantasy, but it’s also very genuine."

Fisher founded FilmRise with fellow producers and financiers Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein. The company is focused on worldwide digital distribution and online DVD sales, but will also focus on traditional distribution models, including television licensing and theatrical releases on select titles.

FilmRise has already amassed a library of 2,500 film and television titles, including Endless Love, The Red Scorpion and An American Werewolf in London, and is distributing DVDs in major retail outlets such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, K-Mart and Barnes & Nobel. The company also provides content for digital platforms Amazon Instant Video, Netflix Streaming, iTunes and Hulu, among others.