Lightning Entertainment Acquires 7 Films for AFM

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Lightning Entertainment announced the acquisition of seven titles that the company will present at the upcoming American Film Market:

Lightning Entertainment, the Santa Monica-based sales, production and distribution company, announced today that it has acquired international sales rights in all media to seven new completed theatrical feature films and will debut the new slate at the upcoming American Film Market. All seven titles will have their first market screenings at AFM, with three key titles making their World Premiere debut: BRAKE, COLUMBUS CIRCLE, and WRATH.

The announcement of the new lineup is part of the company’s ongoing drive to acquire and develop high profile titles that will satisfy demand across all distribution platforms both internationally and in the United States, where the company is expanding its presence as a domestic all rights distributor. For three of the films, BLOODWORK, THE REVENANT and BOY WONDER, Lightning has acquired worldwide distribution rights and will be releasing them in the US through their domestic distribution label, Lightning Media. In the US, Lightning is continuing to expand its extensive reach via its direct VOD and digital release platforms, which it combines with traditional theatrical and home entertainment channels.

The new films span a number of genres from horror to comedy and feature top international stars including Stephen Dorff, Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu, Selma Blair, Amy Smart, and Giovanni Ribisi.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring this slate of films to AFM for our buyers,” said Robert Beaumont, President of Lightning Entertainment. “The reinvigorated marketplace is looking for compelling stories and cast driven theatrical feature films that will appeal to global audiences and we aim to satisfy that buoyant demand.”

Lightning’s seven new films are:

– BRAKE (World Premiere) – A nonstop action thriller starring Stephen Dorff (SOMEWHERE, upcoming IMMORTALS), BRAKE tells the story of Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Dorff) who is held captive by a terrorist group and used as a pawn as the countdown to a catastrophic plot unravels. Successful TV director Gabe Torres, helms BRAKE that co-stars Chyler Leigh (ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Tom Berenger (INCEPTION).

– COLUMBUS CIRCLE (World Premiere) – Directed by George Gallo (MIDDLE MEN), and starring Selma Blair (HELLBOY), Amy Smart (CRANK), Giovanni Ribisi (AVATAR), Jason Lee (NBC’s “My Name is Earl”), and Kevin Pollak (MIDDLE MEN) who also co-wrote the film, COLUMBUS CIRCLE is a stylish and riveting thriller about a reclusive young heiress, Abigail, (Blair) who lives a guarded and sheltered life in a luxurious New York penthouse. But when she is befriended by Lillian and Charlie (Smart and Lee), the glamorous new owners of the apartment next door, Abigail’s safe and secure existence is suddenly threatened.

– THE TROUBLE WITH BLISS (formerly known as East Fifth Bliss) – Written and directed by Michael Knowles (ONE NIGHT), this star-studded comedic drama stars Michael C. Hall in a role distinctive from his well-known “Dexter” persona, and also features Lucy Liu (CHARLIE’S ANGELS), two-time Academy Award® nominee Peter Fonda, Chris Messina (JULIE AND JULIA, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA), and Brie Larson (upcoming RAMPART). Morris Bliss (Hall) is a 35-year-old man-child who still lives at home but when he finds himself falling into a romantic relationship with the precocious 18-year-old daughter of a friend, he discovers that his life is changing in ways that are unexpected and long overdue. BLISS received the Best Narrative Feature Award at the San Diego Film Festival earlier this year and will be the opening night film at the Naples International Film Festival next month.

– BLOODWORK (formerly known as Phase One) – Directed by Eric Wostenberg (SACRIFICE) and starring Travis Van Winkle (TRANSFORMERS) and Tricia Helfer (Sci-Fi Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica”), BLOODWORK is a stylish thriller set in a medical research facility, where two college friends take part in a drug trial in order to earn a little extra cash. But as unexpected side effects start to kick in, it becomes clear that no one is safe.

– SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY – A romantic comedy starring Ashley Williams (MARGIN CALL), Marla Sokoloff (ABC’s “The Practice”), and Nick Zano (THE FINAL DESTINATION), SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY is a modern day reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Sense and Sensibility. The film is directed by Brian Brough (SNOW BEAST).

– BOY WONDER – This crime thriller centers around a young boy, Sean (newcomer Caleb Steinmeyer) who witnesses the brutal murder of his mother and becomes a self-appointed vigilante seeking justice and revenge in New York City. BOY WONDER is written and directed by Michael Morrissey, who makes his feature film debut.

– WRATH (World Premiere) – Directed and written by Jonathan Neil Dixon (PICTOCRIME), and starring Corey Page (DEAD MAN ON CAMPUS), Stef Dawson, Rebecca Ratcliff and Xavier Fernandez (FOOL’S GOLD), WRATH is a visually stunning and chilling Australian thriller/horror film about a group of friends who come across three disturbing strangers in the remote country side, and get drawn into a shocking and unrelenting game of cat-and-mouse.

In addition to the seven new titles, Lightning is also screening the 3D horror movie, ONE WAY TRIP 3D for the first time at AFM, and is screening the horror comedy, THE REVENANT and crime/thriller film, EL NARCO.