Newly formed North Americandistributor THINKFilm has launched a stand-alone, domestic direct-to-videolabel Velocity Home Entertainment with plans to distribute 15 to 18 genretitles a year. The label is the initiative of THINKFilm president and CEO Jeff Sackmanwho initiated three US video labels while he was president of Lions Gate Filmsincluding genre brand Avalanche Releasing.

First two releases fromVelocity are Pressure Pointstarring Michael Madsen and The Elite with Jurgen Prochnow and Robin Givens.

Marc Hirshberg, vicepresident of finance and operations for THINKFilm, will oversee Velocity."Our policy with Velocity is business first, pure and simple,"Hirshberg said in a statement. "The home entertainment business hasshifted and Velocity is in a position to stay ahead of the curve and adapt withchanges. What this means to retailers is a distributor that has their interestsin mind in terms of rentability and profitability."

Velocity's productwill initially be available through VPD and Ingram Entertainment. David Rand isgeneral manager of the company, with a sales team including Cliff Henderson whowas previously at New Horizons, Jack DeFillip who has spent stints at 20thCentury Fox Home Entertainment, Turner Home Entertainment and WEA Distribution,and Steve Gould, who came from Toronto-based kaBOOM! Entertainment and who willwho head up the Canadian operation.

THINKFilm's theatricalproduct which includes Peter Care's The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys and Gus Van Sant's Gerry will be released separate from Velocity, although aspecific arrangement is yet to be announced.

THINKFilm also owns theCanadian rights to titles such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Pollockand You Can Count On Me, formerlycontrolled by Blackwatch Releasing through deals with Sony Pictures Classicsand Paramount Classics.