Independent marketing and distribution consultant Richard Abramowitz and Ocule Films founder Kirt Eftekhar have launched the bi-coastal distributor Area23a.

The entity will focus on event-driven releases with a special emphasis on social issue and music performance films. The initial slate features Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman’s Civil Rights documentary Soundtrack For A Revolution, and Sandi Cioffi’s oil trade documentary Sweet Crude (pictured).

Abramowitz and Eftekhar will offer an alternative pipeline offering theatrical exposure through libraries, museums, community centres and college campuses, in addition to traditional venues like theatres, cinematheques and festivals. 

“It’s time to expand the definition of ‘theatrical’ distribution,” Abramowitz said. “When people leave their homes to see a movie, they’re seeking a communal experience. We’ll provide that and more: a live component, which can’t be duplicated at home on a flat screen or in a dorm on a laptop.”

“We are going to produce thematic, movie-based events focused on well-defined audiences that we plan to nurture and cultivate,” Eftekhar added. “It’s experiential entertainment.”

Area23a has secured a home entertainment output deal with New Video, which will handle the physical and digital distribution across all home entertainment platforms, including DVD, VOD, and mobile rights.

“We congratulate and celebrate this new venture with Richard and Kirt,” New Video Group vice-president of acquisitions Mark Kashden said. “We’ll be able to leverage Area23a’s innovative theatrical marketing approach to successfully distribute these event-driven films nationwide across all physical and digital home entertainment platforms.”

Abramowitz will continue to operate Abramorama, which in its ten-year history has handled the releases of Sacha Gervasi’s ANVIL! The Story Of Anvil, John Turturro’s Romance And Cigarettes, Neil Young’s Greendale, and the upcoming Jonathan Demme film Neil Young Trunk Show.

Eftekhar has produced and distributed event-driven films such as Big Rig, Porn Star: The Legend Of Ron Jeremy, and the upcoming documentary Wild In The Streets.