By MCN Editor

Brainstorm Media Sets Up Distribution Arm With Acquisition of Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse

Beverly Hills, CA – (April 27, 2011) – Meyer Shwarzstein, Brainstorm Media President, announced today the acquisition of Todd Solondz’s award-winning film Dark Horse, signaling Brainstorm’s entry into theatrical distribution. Having assembled an elite team run by Ruth Vitale, David Shultz, and Margot Gerber, Barbara Javitz, and Marian Koltai-Levine of PMK*BNC, Brainstorm will release the film in New York on June 8, with additional cities to follow.

Dark Horse will be distributed in association with industry veteran Ted Hope’s Double Hope Films. Written and directed by Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Life During Wartime), Dark Horse stars Justin Bartha (The Hangover, The Hangover Part II) as Richard, Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Hellboy) as Miranda, Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby, The Great Gatsby) as Phyllis, Jordan Gelber (“Boardwalk Empire”, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3) as Abe, Donna Murphy (Tangled, “The Nanny Diaries”) as Marie, Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Catch Me if You Can) as Jackie, Zachary Booth (The Blue Eyes, Taking Woodstock) as Justin, and Aasif Mandvi (The Last Airbender, The Proposal) as Mahmoud. The film tells the story of a thirty-something year-old guy with arrested development who falls for a thirty-something year-old girl with the same problem. When he tries to move out of his junior high school bedroom, tragedy ensues. The film was produced by Ted Hope and Derrick Tseng, with Nick Quested as executive producer.

“With Brainstorm, we found a team that was willing to put our film and the audience first,” said Hope. “Like that old 35mm we once all loved, Dark Horse will be playing only in theatres this summer! Meyer and his team have constructed a way for the filmmakers and our investors to be true partners in this venture. How often do distributors really want the producers to make money?”

“With this move into theatrical, there’s no better film, producer, or team with whom to work,” said Shwarzstein. “We have the best of both worlds – taking our team’s extensive experience in marketing and distributing films in all platforms while utilizing all the new media tools available to us. We’ve created a twenty-first century deal structure that allows the producer to have true input into how we’re releasing the film.”

Solondz added, “I’m totally delighted to have team Brainstorm handling the distribution of Dark Horse.”

Ruth Vitale runs The Film Collective, a consultancy business that helps financiers and companies with the strategic planning for their films in the worldwide marketplace from development and production through distribution. Previous positions include: President of First Look Pictures, Co-President of Paramount Classics, and President of Fine Line Features. Her films have received three Oscars and received sixteen nominations as well as eighteen Golden Globe nominations and two wins. David Shultz serves as President of Vitagraph Films, a self contained theatrical and home optical television distribution entity. Margot Gerber is Head of Marketing, Publicity and Digital Strategy for Vitagraph Films. Barbara Javitz has overseen operations, marketing, acquisitions, production, and post production, and has held executive positions at ARC Entertainment and Lightning Entertainment.

Ted Hope is known for producing critically acclaimed films such as 21 Grams, which earned two Academy Awards nominations and five BAFTA nominations; the groundbreaking Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize winner American Splendor; the Cannes Critics Prize-winning Happiness; and the BAFTA winner The Ice Storm. He also produced Todd Field’s acclaimed drama In the Bedroom, which earned five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

About Brainstorm Media

Brainstorm Media is the leading independent aggregator of feature films for Video on Demand and Television in the United States. Past and current clients include Lionsgate, Blockbuster, BMG, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Magnolia Pictures, Roadside Attractions, and more. The company also develops and produces feature films, documentaries, and series. For more information please visit

About Double Hope

Double Hope Films was founded by the independent filmmaking couple Vanessa and Ted Hope. They are currently in production on Vanessa’s directorial debut, a documentary on US-China relations.  Sean Baker’s Starlet was executive produced by Ted and premiered earlier this year at SXSW. Ti West’s sci-fi thriller The Side Effect, starring Liv Tyler, shoots this summer with Ted producing.

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One Response to “Brainstorm Media Sets Up Distribution Arm With Acquisition of Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse”

  1. Denise Kasell says:

    Very excited about this!

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“Yes, yes, yes. Now I am also the producer on Jean-Luc’s films, so I need to raise the money. Yes, there are two projects in preparation with the pretext of virtual reality. We are beginning with two approaches: we can either do or undo VR. Maybe we will undo it more than we do VR, because thinking about VR leads to the opposite of VR. Is there concrete imagination in virtual reality? For me, cinema is concrete imagination because it’s made with the real and uses it. VR, virtual reality, is totally the opposite of that, but it might be interesting to use this and then to destroy it. No, we’ll see, we’ll see. First, it’s just an idea of a beginning. There is a forest to cross, and we are just at the beginning of the forest. The first step is development. As they say in business, first there is development and research. We have to develop somehow an idea for the film; I won’t say a script, but to see what we can do with this system, and what we can undo with this system.”
~ Fabrice Aragno On Godard’s Next Projects

“Why put it in a box? This is the number one problem I have—by the way it’s a fair question, I’m not saying that—with this kind of festival situation is that there’s always this temptation to classify the movie immediately and if you look at it—and I’ve tried to warn my fellow jurors of this—directors and movie critics are the worst people to judge movies! Directors are always thinking, “I could do that.” Critics are always saying, “This part of the movie is like the 1947 version and this part…” And it’s like, “Fuck! Just watch the movie and try and absorb it and not compare it to some other fucking movie and put it in a box!” So I think the answer’s both and maybe neither, I don’t know. That’s for you to see and criticize me for or not.”
~ James Gray