Overture Films inks deal with Cinedigm

Virtual-print-fee pact will help fund digital-screen conversions

ORLANDO -- Overture Films has inked a virtual-print-fee agreement with digital-cinema integrator Cinedigm.

The mini-major joins other distributors -- including all of the Hollywood majors, after Cinedigm's recent pact with Warner Bros. -- in helping to fund digital-screen conversions nationwide by contributing to VPFs. Through such deals, distribs agree to pay the equivalent of print fees for several years after screens are converted.

Studios want to encourage the move to digital cinema because of the savings in print costs they eventually will reap. Digital projection also allows the addition of 3D capability, generally at exhibs' expense.

The Overture VHF will run 10 years.

"Cinedigm continues to be a great partner for Overture Films in our effort to take advantage of the growing demand for digital features," Overture exec vp distribution Kyle Davies said. "Digital cinema represents the industry's future."

Cinedigm president Chuck Goldwater said his company welcomes the VPF agreement with Overture, which he dubbed "a major player in the industry highlighted by movies from ambitious, creative moviemakers."

Cinedigm made its announcement on the first day of the ShowEast exhibition confab. Overture's George Clooney starrer "The Men Who Stare at Goats," set for domestic release Nov. 6, was set to be screened Monday night at the event.