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Financing, production and sales company Highland Film Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching a new U.S. distribution division, The Avenue Entertainment.
Highland CEO Arianne Fraser and COO Delphine Perrier have tapped studio veteran JJ Caruth to serve as president of marketing and distribution of the new venture.
The aim is to release six to eight movies annually, whether Highland titles or third-party acquisitions. Most will get a dual rollout in select cinemas and on VOD. The Avenue has signed an agreement with Paramount’s home entertainment division, which will handle all digital distribution, such as VOD, and other home entertainment formats.
The first feature film title to be released under the Avenue banner is Dimitri Logothetis’ martial arts sci-fi film Jiu Jitsu, starring Nicolas Cage and Frank Grillo. The movie will hit theaters and VOD simultaneously on November 20th.
Funding for The Avenue is provided by Cygnus Film Group, LLC which has entered into a financing agreement with R.U. Robot Ltd, managed by Petr Jákl and Martin J. Barab.
“Our passion and commitment for this industry are key in guiding our strategic efforts to make Highland Film Group a global entertainment group providing services at every stage of the content’s life cycle,” Fraser said in a statement.
Highland’s recent slate includes Alec Baldwin’s Rust; Youth, starring Pierce Brosnan; Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s Becky, starring Lulu Wilson, Kevin James and Joel McHale; the Bella Thorne and Jake Manley-starrer Infamous; and Andrew Baird’s Zone 414, starring Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz and Travis Fimmel.
Added Caruth, “I am thrilled to be joining The Avenue at a time of great change, evolution and exciting opportunity in our industry. Arianne and Delphine have impeccable relationships with filmmakers which creates the perfect springboard for this new distribution venture.”
Caruth has over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, and has worked for Universal, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Disney with a focus on the specialty film market, the global home entertainment market, consumer trends and emerging distribution platforms.
Among her positions at Universal, Caruth ran marketing and distribution at Focus World, a label focusing on dual theatrical-PVOD releases.
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