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!

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch