EXCLUSIVE: Co-founder Rich Goldberg in is Berlin looking for global rights as part of a strategic expansion.

Top brass from LA-based Vertical Entertainment are scouring Berlin for global rights as part of a strategic expansion to exploit independent gems across international platforms.

Co-founder Rich Goldberg and head of acquisitions and marketing Peter Jarowey are also on the look-out for US and UK pick-ups, buoyed by their recent success in the US with Susan Sarandon thriller The Calling.

The serial killer release went out last August on VOD, cable and satellite and generated $3m, an extraordinary and hitherto unreported success that the distributor is keen to replicate across its prestige roster of curated releases.

Vertical plans to release around two films a month and believes it can deliver robust launches through its relationships with Comcast and digital platforms that bode well for a title’s international prospects.

Ties to Walmart are also crucial. The retail giant guarantees ‘end cap’ preferred shelf placement for those films with the chance for them to sell up to 100,000 units.

Vertical’s nimble set-up and extensive industry contacts enable the team to craft bespoke distribution and marketing models depending on the needs of a film. Highlights from Vertical’s first year roster include Scenic Route.

Goldberg’s fellow Vertical co-founder is Mitch Budin, the home entertainment guru who launched direct retail with Walmart and Kmart during his tenure at Warner Home Video.

Upcoming releases include the Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan comedy Playing It Cool this week and the Katherine Heigl, Patrick Wilson and Jordana Brewster comedy Home Sweet Hell.

“Now with the ability to transact globally through single marketing and delivery platforms, our focus for this year’s EFM will be to acquire global rights to films that have the worldwide appeal to be consumed simultaneously around the world,” said Goldberg, who co-founded Mainline Releasing/Lightning Entertainment and served three years as president of ARC Entertaiment.

“Independent film is ripe for expansion internationally and shouldn’t be regulated to just a single launch in the US. With the success of The Calling domestically to the tune of $3m gross on VOD, cable, and satellite platforms, we now envision a future where these types of indie releases can span more than one continent at the same time with an even greater level of community-building and financial return.”