Yari, Freestyle team up for ops


In an effort to expand its distribution capabilities, indie producer Bob Yari's Yari Film Group will combine its operations with distributor Freestyle Releasing for the company's wider-released projects.

Announced Friday, the two companies will work together on Yari Film Group's upcoming films bowing in 2,000 or more theaters. First up for the joint venture will be the Jamie Kennedy starrer "Kickin' It Old Skool," which will open April 27.

The plan will see Yari Film Group Releasing combine its existing distribution back office with Freestyle Releasing's existing back-office support, including booking, shipping and logistical capabilities. YFGR and Freestyle will share this expanded back office, and YFGR will, when needed, supply Freestyle with YFGR's marketing, PR and Internet departments to allow Freestyle an expanded service capability.

Freestyle will continue to operate as a service-for-hire company to independent producers.

"It's a win for both companies, since we functioned so well together while releasing five recent titles, including 'The Illusionist,' " Yari said.

Yari Film Group Releasing will keep most of its current distribution staff, including distribution head Bill Soady, and its full marketing team, Internet team, and publicity and support staff. Freestyle will contribute its existing national distribution sales force and back-office staff, which will be expanded to accommodate Yari's larger slate.