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MGM to Distribute Indie Studio Fare

According to Variety.com (subscription), MGM will throw its weight behind a slate of films from several different independent studios. The studio, shifting its focus to distribution and marketing since coming under Sony's vast wing, mentioned studios including The Weinstein Co. , Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

The first films named as part of the plan seem to fall more under the "sure-thing" category than "artistic risk." Sequels Clerks II, Van Wilder Deux: The Rise of Taj and a second Pink Panther flick are the first in the line-up; the complete slate won't be announced until this summer. This could, however, prove to be a sweet deal for both the Lion and the smaller studios for two of the films named in the press conference held Tuesday. The Weinstein Co.'s Lucky Number Slevin (with Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley) and Bauer Martinez's Harsh Times (Christian Bale's first vehicle since Batman Begins) will both have access to MGM's extensive marketing resources when they hit theaters this year.

The studio has scheduled five press conferences (dubbed "The Lion Roars Again" series) over the coming months; the idea is to reveal the new efforts in increments. (Apparently we can't handle all the excitment at once!)

In a film culture that forces several independent studios to back one film in order to get it anywhere near the recognition a major studio film is privvy to, it's refreshing to hear that MGM (which is struggling to find a new identity as a distributor) is willing to give the little guys a good push. Keep it up, and we might see next year's Capote or Good Night and Good Luck actually finding their way to the masses.

For a quick glimpse at the announcement without the need to subscribe, check out Cinematical's blurb here.


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Posted by Lisa on March 9, 2006 08:07 AM
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