Official Press Release
LOS ANGELES – Heavy Metal, the illustrated fantasy magazine, and Cinema Libre Studio have joined forces to create a direct-to-video collection of live action Heavy Metal films to address the demand from fans for more films in this genre.
The Heavy Metal collection will follow up on the ongoing success of HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE and HEAVY METAL 2000, yet break new ground with the live action format. In its first year, Heavy Metal will present seven titles that fit the Heavy Metal criteria in the action, sci-fi, horror and urban genres through a combination of acquisition and production. In year two, plans call for nine additional titles. Titles will be acquired, produced and distributed by Cinema Libre Studio despite significant interest expressed by other distribution companies and foreign sales entities. Several titles are already under consideration.
"Our fans have been demanding new films and live action films will allow us to provide more films, more frequently, while introducing Heavy Metal to new audiences," says Kevin Eastman, owner/editor of Heavy Metal magazine. "We will, of course, continue the tradition of powerful soundtracks and merchandising opportunities." The team is already approaching rock stars, pop icons, rappers and cross over-talent from other industries for cameo appearances or narrative roles. Heavy Metal will cross-promote the collection through the magazine and website as well as continue to develop animated feature films and television series.
Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise, bought Heavy Metal, the world's leading teen/adult comic book magazine, in 1991. The magazine, known worldwide for its non-superhero comics, detailed illustrations and provocative story lines, has grown under Eastman's stewardship, and is now one of the top selling comic books in the western world with annual readership estimated to be 3.5 million worldwide. In 1996, Eastman collaborated with Columbia/Tri-Star to release the animated HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE on video, which sold over 2 million units and was the number 10 top-selling video of the year. In 2000, he partnered with Philippe Diaz, now head of Cinema Libre Studio, to produce HEAVY METAL 2000. The movie was put together by Diaz, as a co-production between Canada and Germany, with Columbia/Tri-Star handling the United States.
Diaz founded Cinema Libre Studio, the independent studio known for producing and distributing socially conscious and political docs such as UNCOVERED, OUTFOXED, and SOLDIERS PAY as well as auteur-driven feature films such as Mora Stephens' CONVENTIONEERS and Eric Byler's TRE, in 2003. "I was always a great fan of Heavy Metal which was originally a French magazine, Metal Hurlant, due to its irreverence and freedom of thought, " says Diaz. "I think it's a very important collection to bring to America as the country becomes increasingly puritanical while expanding Cinema Libre Studio's range of activism".
Fans of Heavy Metal, genre films and the graphic novel genre are growing exponentially. "These customers, primarily males in that key 18-34 demographic, are demanding more and more creative product," says Arik Ben Treston, Cinema Libre Studio's VP of Home Entertainment who will oversee the project with Head of Distribution, Adam Chapnick. "Look at the numbers for SIN CITY, KILL BILL 1&2, The L.O.T.R Trilogy, FANGORIA, horror films…these were the kids that cut their teeth on HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE. With today's technology, we will bring great stories quickly to the direct-to-video market while appealing to a new base of attracted by the high-concept value of the films and the cool and sexy vibe of the whole project." The first title is planned to hit the market in October 2005.
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE STUDIO
Cinema Libre Studio is a haven for filmmakers with views, offering one-stop shopping for production, co-production, distribution, marketing and post-production services. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has representatives in Paris, London, Munich, Rome, Madrid and Tokyo. The company is best known for distributing the films OUTFOXED, UNCOVERED, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNPRECEDENTED and David O. Russell's SOLDIERS PAY. For more information please call the above or visit www.cinemalibrestudio.com.