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Former Radius founders and co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego are teaming with Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League to form a new distribution label and release Michael Moore’s doc Where to Invade Next in North America.
In Where to Invade Next, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Moore tours various countries in Europe as well as Tunisia to learn of the progressive ways they deal with various social issues, implicitly drawing a comparison to areas in which the United States has fallen behind. The film screens next at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 2.
“Together with Michael Moore and his extraordinary new film we hope to remind Americans they have the inalienable right to laugh, especially in an election year. We’re thrilled about our new label and can’t think of a better film or filmmaker to launch with,” said a statement from Quinn, Janego and League.
The company name and details of the new venture will be revealed at a later date.
The premise of Where to Invade Next was kept under wraps until the first screening Thursday, Sept. 10. Moore produced the film with Academy Award-nominated documentarians Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water).
All the big domestic buyers were in attendance at the premiere in Toronto, and the doc also was shown at private screenings in Los Angeles to buyers ahead of its premiere in Toronto. But sources say interest cooled from theatrical distributors after the screening. During the festival, Moore told THR he was fielding bids from multiple parties and was also hearing marketing pitches before he would make his decision.
While Netflix was interested, multiple sources say Moore was insisting on a theatrical play, and was looking for a deal that would get the movie into theaters.
“We want it to be seen by as many people as possible in theaters,” he told THR at the festival. “It makes a big difference when you see it in a big theater with 100 people rather than in front of your computer.”
Quinn and Janego have yet to unveil details about their new company, but indicated when they stepped down from specialty distributor Radius that they planned to remain involved in the indie film distribution business. During their time at Radius, which launched as a boutique label under The Weinstein Co. umbrella in 2013, they handled the past two documentary feature Oscar winners, 20 Feet From Stardom and Citizenfour.
Where to Invade Next was co-produced by Dog Eat Dog Films and IMG Films, and is repped by WME.
In the announcement of the deal, Moore described his new distributor as a “cinematic Dream Team, consisting of three of this country’s most beloved film geeks and movie advocates, individuals who are much-admired by the indie filmmaking community. It is clear to me that they want to forge something new for a new century. They decided it was time to rethink the way movies are made, doing it with filmmakers who create their best work in a supportive environment, unfettered by a traditional studio system. I believe that Tom, Jason, and Tim, are poised to revolutionize film distribution by creating an entirely different movie-going experience for the audience.”
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