ATO Pictures (Art Takes Over) is moving into North American distribution, extending its original remit to finance and produce films in the $3-10m range.

In addition to financing and producing films, the company will consider acquiring finished films to round out its distribution slate of four to six films per year.

ATO will release its films theatrically through IDP, the Samuel Goldwyn Films distribution entity of which it is now a partner. The first release will be Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer.

The fledgling distributor has also entered into an arrangement with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to handle home entertainment distribution.

ATO Pictures was co-founded in 2002 by musician Dave Matthews and music executive Coran Capshaw and will now be run by company CEO Temple Fennell, Jonathan Dorfman, Peter Newman and Greg Johnson. Former Cinetic Media executive Sarah Lash recently came aboard to serve as head of acquisitions.

“We are delighted that ATO has chosen IDP as its theatrical distribution vehicle,” Samuel Goldwyn Films CEO and chairman Samuel Goldwyn Jr and president Meyer Gottlieb said.