ContentFilm, the new production/distribution venture recently set up by Edward R Pressman and John Schmidt, and its international investors are acquiring a minority share in Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente's digital production outfit Blow Up Pictures.
Blow Up, which since its launch in 1999 has been behind some of the most successful digital features yet seen such as Chuck And Buck, Series 7 - The Contenders and Nicole Holofcener's upcoming Lovely And Amazing, is at this year's Sundance Film Festival with its most recent feature Love In The Time Of Money which is screening out of competition.
Blow Up will use the financing from ContentFilm to develop and produce a slate of digital films budgeted under $2m which will then be distributed by ContentFilm. The multi-picture domestic distribution agreement which Blow Up has in place with Lot 47 Films will be integrated into the distribution strategy of films produced by Blow Up purusant to ContentFilm's investment.
Kliot and Vicente will also continue to produce larger budget films shot on traditional film under their other banner Open City Films.
"The deal came about after we met with key members of the New York independent film community as we ramped up to launch this fall," said Pressman and Schmidt in a statement. "It became clear to us that Blow Up has led the way in this emerging field with Chuck and Buck, Series 7 and Lovely and Amazing."
At the same time, Blow Up's Kliot and Vicente were seeking new capital, and their representative Bart Walker of ICM began talks with Content and its backers, most notably Franz Prinz Von Auersperg. ContentFilm is fully funded by a number of equity investors, including lead investor Syntek Capital. Frank Biondi's company WaterView Advisors is also an investor in ContentFilm, which focused principally on films shot on digital video budgeted under $3m.
Kliot and Vicente were represented in the deal by Bart Walker of ICM and Andrew Hurwtiz of Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz and Weinstein, who negotiated with ContentFilm's head of business affairs Michael Roban.