By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

PHASE 4 FILMS MAKES THE MOVE TO VOD: VIDAL SASSOON AND BROTHERHOOD TO GO DAY AND DATE

Los Angeles, CA (February 10, 2011) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has officially entered the video-on-demand (VOD) space.  This new endeavor for Phase 4 launches officially with the day-and-date theatrical and VOD release of several films including: Craig Teper’s VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE, a revealing and inspirational portrait of the iconic hairdresser who changed the world with a pair of scissors; the SXSW Audience Award-winner BROTHERHOOD, directed by Will Cannon and starring Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci; and the documentary IRANIUM from director Alex Traiman about the Iranian nuclear threat and the ideology fueling the Iranian regime.  In addition to theatrical openings in major cities, the films will be available on demand in more than thirty million homes via several of the largest cable providers in the United States.

“As an independent film company in the year 2011, being in the video-on-demand space is an integral aspect of connecting our films with audiences,” says Meyerowitz.  “We still stand behind the theatrical model and believe for many of our films that it will always make sense. We also acknowledge that more and more people are now watching films on VOD at home. We have Vidal Sassoon being interviewed in many high profile national outlets so it is only fair that people who watch the interviews and then want to go and see the film, can do so without having to wait weeks or even months on end for the film to arrive in their market.”

In addition to the above mentioned day-and-date theatrical and VOD titles premiering in the weeks ahead, Phase 4 is launching an extensive slate of exclusive VOD World Premieres, as well as day-and-date VOD/DVD titles launching in the coming months, including Emily Young’s VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Erika Christensen, based on the popular novel by Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and the new Steve Austin starring action film KNOCKOUT.

VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE opens this Friday (February 11) in New York at the Village East and will simultaneously be available nationwide on demand.

BROTHERHOOD opens next Friday (February 18) in Dallas at the Angelika and will simultaneously be available nationwide on demand.

IRANIUM opened this week and is available nationwide on demand.

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About Phase 4 Films

Phase 4 distributes feature films and special interest content across all media in North America.  The company’s recent slate included Brigitte Berman’s documentary HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL; THE FREEBIE starring Dax Shepard; 50 DEAD MAN WALKING, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess; and Matt Tyrnauer’s acclaimed VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR.  Phase 4 will soon release the SXSW Audience Award-winning film BROTHERHOOD, starring Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci; and the feature documentary, VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE, director Craig Teper’s revealing, and inspirational portrait of the iconic hairdresser who changed the world with a pair of scissors.

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas