IFC films find DVD home at MPI

Distributor to handle bulk of theatrical releases

MPI Media has secured rights to distribute IFC Films' movies on DVD.

Chicago-Based MPI has been known primarily for disc releases of classic U.S. and British television titles, documentaries and a Dark Sky line of horror pics. The agreement with IFC, one of the more active buyers at Cannes last month, should dramatically boost MPI's profile as a distributor of indie titles.

MPI will distribute the bulk of IFC's theatrical releases on DVD. Catherine Deneuve starrer "Apres Lui" and the relationships drama "Nights and Weekends" are set as the first releases under the agreement, both slotted for August.

IFC's distribution deal with Genius Products expired last year.

In addition to IFC's theatrical films, MPI also will distribute DVDs of its IFC Festival Direct electronic titles. IFC self-distributes its digital fare.

MPI chief Malik Ali called IFC "a true force in independent cinema and an innovator in making film accessible via their diverse delivery platforms."

IFC Films exec vp Lisa Schwartz said MPI's experience handling specialty product was a particular draw for IFC.

"We're delighted to join with MPI as we continue our mission of bringing quality independent films to consumers," she said. "We have found a great home for our movies and a terrific partner."

Owned by Cablevision Systems subsidiary Rainbow Media, New York-based IFC's acquisitions at Cannes included the soccer comedy "Looking for Eric" and Danish director Lars von Trier's controversial drama "Antichrist."

Founded in 1976 by Ali and his late brother Waleed Ali, MPI also distributes historical and contemporary news footage from its WPA Film Library and maintains a Dokument Films label for film shorts and other content. A foreign-licensing division handles territorial sales to its diverse catalog of titles.