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Press Releases

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

SNOOP DOGG’S TRIBUTE TO

GRISLY COMIC-BOOK MORALITY TALES

SPLATTERS THE BIG SCREEN ON MAY 4

XENON PICTURES PRESENTS SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR,

 A NEW HORROR ANTHOLOGY DESCRIBED AS “UNAPOLOGETIC IN ITS OFFENSIVENESS AND BLOOD-SPLATTERED GORE”! 

SANTA MONICA, CA, April 10, 2007—Xenon Pictures announces the theatrical release of the rap-infused horror anthology, SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR.  The film, which features Snoop Dogg as the “Crib Keeper”, presents three grisly morality tales that blend horror, anime, live action and a strong dose of gallows humor, partially inspired by the classic comic-book series Tales from the Crypt.  The Xenon Pictures release, produced by Social Capital, BloodWorks, and Snoopadelic Films, will open nationally on Friday, May 4, 2007. 

Set in an inner-city landscape where every day is a fight for survival, SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR takes the urban nightmare into the realm of the supernatural and the bizarre.  Take, for example, the tagger who’s given the power of life and death by a shamanistic stranger; the bigoted millionaire who’s in for some nasty surprises from the people he loathes; the rap star whose skeletons come out of the closet—literally.  Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg stars as Devin, a slain gangster forced to atone for his misdeeds by ushering his fellow sinners to their infernal rewards, accompanied by his posse of scantily-clad sucubi and badass demons.  Described by Variety as “gleefully disgusting”, this darkly comical gorefest boasts a stellar cast from the worlds of film and TV, hip-hop and pro sports, including Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, “Desperate Housewives”), Danny Trejo (The Devil’s Rejects), Lin Shaye (There’s Something About Mary), Anson Mount (In Her Shoes, City by the Sea), Playmate Brande Roderick (Starsky & Hutch, “Baywatch: Hawaii”), Daniella Alonso (The Hills Have Eyes 2), Pooch Hall (“The Game”), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Grindhouse), WWF superstar Diamond Dallas Page, Aries Spears (“Mad TV”) and NBA star Tayshaun Prince. Also featured are Billy Dee Williams, Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), rapper Method Man (“The Wire”), NBA star Lamar Odom and NFL stars Teyo Johnson, Justin Fargas and Glenn Cadrez.

The latest outing in Xenon Pictures’ continuing relationship with Snoop Dogg (Tha Eastsidaz, Welcome to Death Row), SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR comes to selected theaters on May 4, 2007, not-so-coincidentally with the release of SPIDER-MAN 3.  The anticipated spillover business just may rival the copious amount of spilled blood in the film.

Directed by Academy Award® nominee Stacy Title, SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR was written by Jonathan McHugh, Tim Sullivan, Chris Kobin and Jacob Hair.  Martin Shore of Social Capital and Christopher Tuffin of BloodWorks, as well as Ted Chung, McHugh and Sullivan, served as producers.  Gordon Steel and John Baca of The Steel Company served as executive producers, in addition to Snoop Dogg.  The anime sequences were produced by Japan’s Madhouse, known for such classics as Animatrix and Tokyo Hunter, under the Direction of Academy Award®-winner John Gaeta, known for his work on the MATRIX trilogy. This film is rated R for pervasive strong violence and gore, sexuality, nudity and language.


The Harder They Come

The Harder They Come, the groundbreaking international hit named one of the all-time “Top 100 Rock & Roll Films” by Blender magazine, is beginning a new life following a painstaking restoration process for its upcoming theatrical and DVD re-releases this year.  The project was spearheaded by Xenon Pictures, Inc., the film’s distributor, who discovered that the original negative was threatened with complete disintegration by an infestation of fungus, visible as the streaks and noise that appear on even the best video transfers of the film.  Working with writer/director Perry Henzell and post-production house Westwind Media, Xenon used all available means to restore The Harder They Come to its original audio and video brilliance.  Westwind employed teams of technicians to correct each individual frame, as well as the soundtrack, and then created a high-definition digital transfer.  The opening sequence and credits were hand-restored in India, and the subtitles were scoped and revised by the director's daughter, Justine Henzell.  Thanks to this truly international effort for a film with worldwide appeal, what we will hear and see now will be as dazzling and powerful as it was in 1972.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                
June 6, 2006                                           

Legendary Film The Harder They Come to Screen at the Ford Amphitheatre as Part of the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival

The Melodians to Perform at Special-Event Screening of
Xenon’s New Restoration of the 1972 Classic


SANTA MONICA, CAThe Harder They Come, the 1972 classic film that was named one of the all-time "Top 100 Rock & Roll Films" by Blender will screen in its newly restored grandeur at the Ford Amphitheatre this June as part of the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival.  Admission to the one-time-only screening will include a concert by one of Jamaica's finest vocal groups, the Melodians, who are featured on the film's soundtrack.  The soundtrack is an important pop classic in itself, found among the ranks of Rolling Stone's "100 Most Influential Albums".

The groundbreaking movie was a worldwide hit and brought reggae music to the international stage.  In Great Britain, according to the BBC, it “caused a queue at the cinema of 40,000 people.”  The key to the film’s financial and artistic success lies in its appeal to action, music, exploitation and art-house fans of diverse backgrounds.  The Harder They Come, a poignant slice-of-life film shot in a colorful photo-journalistic style, is the action-packed story of a gunslinging pop star, and a revolutionary tale of a black man asserting his identity.  Roger Ebert wrote of its “brash irreverence” and “direct energy”, while The Los Angeles Times called it “timeless” and “nothing short of amazing”.  It brought Jamaican audiences to their feet and the rest of the world soon followed.  On sites across the internet, fans of all ages continue to discuss their love of both Jimmy Cliff and his debut film.   



Based on a true story, reggae star Jimmy Cliff plays Ivan, a young aspiring singer who leaves his rural village for the city of Kingston to find his fortune.  In almost no time, he is robbed, beaten and forced to peddle ganja to survive.  He manages to record one song, “The Harder They Come”, and is offered $25 for it by a corrupt music producer.  Ivan resists exploitation and becomes an outlaw who declares war on the producer, as well as criminals on both sides of the law.  His exploits make him a folk hero whose name tops both the pop charts and the most-wanted list.   


The Harder They Come begins a new life following a painstaking restoration process for its upcoming theatrical and DVD re-releases this year.  The project was spearheaded by Xenon Pictures, Inc., the film’s distributor since 1996, who discovered that the original negative was threatened with complete disintegration by an infestation of fungus, visible as the streaks and noise that appear on even the best video transfers of the film.  Working with writer/director Perry Henzell and post-production house Westwind Media, Xenon used all available means to restore The Harder They Come to its original audio and video brilliance.  Westwind employed teams of technicians to correct each individual frame, including the soundtrack, and then created a high-definition digital transfer.  The opening sequence and credits were hand-restored in India, and the subtitles were scoped and revised by the director’s daughter, Justine Henzell.  Thanks to this truly international effort for a film with worldwide appeal, what we will see and hear now will be as dazzling and powerful as it was in 1972.


In celebration of the revolutionary nature of the film and its soundtrack, the two will be bundled together at a special price for the September release. 



The 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival special screening of The Harder They Come will begin at 9 pm on Sunday, June 25th at the Ford Amphitheatre, preceded by the Melodians at 8 pm.


For Immediate Distribution                                                                                                    June 10, 2008

Kenny

"The Big Splash from Down Under"

Comes to a Laemmle Theater near You

Friday, July 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA—Xenon Pictures and Seventh Art Releasing bring the Australian hit Kenny to the US this summer, with Los Angeles first up on the theatrical schedule in mid July. Previous US screenings at numerous festivals, such as SXSW and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, have already met with enormous success. Shot in a mockumentary style, the utterly charming story of Kenny Smyth, a port-o-pottie delivery/maintenance man, has been winning over critics and fans since its 2006 debut Down Under. Most notably, filmmaker Michael Moore recently said, “Kenny is the funniest film of the year. Like Borat, when it was over, I thought, ‘I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.’” The film has achieved equal acclaim in the UK, with the London Times enthusing, “One of the funniest, warmest films of the year—highly recommended,” while Empire Magazine described it as “the perfect antidote to any disappointing summer blockbuster”. Catch the Los Angeles premiere of Kenny at Laemmle’s One Colorado in Old Town Pasadena, or at Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex in Santa Monica on Friday, July 18, 2008 (Laemmle’s Sunset 5 TBD). Other screenings will immediately follow in select cities. Please visit the Laemmle Theatres website for screening details at http://www.laemmle.com. To learn more about this film please visit http://xenonpictures.com/kenny.

Synopsis: From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth delivers porta-potties to them all. A true unsung hero, Kenny is a knight in shining overalls doing one of society’s dirtiest jobs. Follow Kenny as he tackles every septic challenge that comes his way, including a pilgrimage to that Mecca of waste management, the International Pumper and Cleaner Expo in Nashville, Tennesseeor as Kenny affectionately calls it, “Poo HQ”.

With fly-on-the-wall honesty and wit, Kenny lifts the lid on one of Australia's roughest diamonds as he juggles family tensions, fatherhood and sewage with charm, humor and unflinching dignity.  

Part philosopher, part comedian and all heart, Kenny is living proof that in sewage, like life, the best will always rise to the top.

Kenny was created by the talented Jacobson Brothers, Australia’s latest and most critically-acclaimed homegrown phenomenon. Like many “brother” teams before them, each wore several hats in the making of this runaway hit. Co-producer Shane Jacobson stars as the lovable Kenny, while Clayton Jacobson directed, produced, shot and served as principal editor. The film marks the culmination of the Shane and Clayton’s many years in their respective fields as performer and director.

Since its 2006 release, Kenny has taken its place among such disarming comedies as Muriel’s Wedding, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Waking Ned Devine and Strictly Ballroom, winning nearly universal acclaim from the Australian press. Among many others, the Herald Sun raved, “It is the funniest, most genuine and utterly enchanting Australian comedy,” giving it a remarkable four-and-a-half-star rating. The Sunday Times was equally as enthusiastic: “This is a big statement to make, but I’m going to make it nonetheless—Kenny is the best Australian comedy since…in fact, I’ll go one better by saying it’s one of Australia’s best EVER.”

Since 1986, Xenon Pictures has been committed to the distribution of independent films, documentaries, and television programming that provoke, excite and inspire audiences. Most recently, Xenon handled the US distribution of the hit Mexican film 7 Dias, the story of a young man’s seemingly impossible quest to bring the world-renowned rock band U2 to his hometown.

Seventh Art Releasing is known for its releases of many Academy Award®-nominated documentaries as well as distinguished art-house fair.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION 

XENON PICTURES ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF

“MARADONA: THE HAND OF GOD” ON DVD FEBRUARY 26, 2008

“Brings to life the footballer’s mixture of vitality, anger, childishness and arrogance”London Times

Santa Monica, CA (January 26th, 2008)—The small town of Villa Fiorito, Argentina, was the site that would ultimately change the course of soccer forever when, on October 30, 1960, a baby known to the world as “El Pibe de Oro” was born.  Diego Armando Maradona became the most famous soccer player of all time, winning the FIFA Player of the Century award.  It was the infamous goal against England in the 1986 World Cup finals that cemented his legend.  Today, 22 years after that controversial goal, Xenon Pictures, in association with Lions Gate Home Entertainment, is proud to announce the February 26, 2008 release of the film, MARADONA: THE HAND OF GOD on DVD.

Directed by the acclaimed Marco Risi (Tre Mogli, Mery per Sempre), the film stars a talented cast that includes Marco Leonardi (Like Water for Chocolate, Once upon a Time in Mexico), Juan Leyrado (Blessed by Fire), Julieta Diaz (La Señal), and Emiliano Kaczka.  MARADONA: THE HAND OF GOD is the first narrative feature about the life of the iconic and controversial soccer  player.  

The single-disc DVD package will be available at all major retail and online stores for $19.98 (SRP), in Spanish with English subtitles. (High resolution cover attached)

MARADONA: THE HAND OF GOD delves into the inspiring yet shocking realities surrounding the man revered as a god by soccer fans around the world; a man who experienced both dizzying highs and devastating lows, as he battled his demons under immense public scrutiny.  The film garnered three nominations in 2007 from the National Union of Italian Film Journalists in the categories of Best Actor, Best Musical Score, and Best Editor.  It's a well-crafted, heartfelt film that must be experienced!

“Convincing and Intense”—The Messenger  

“A GREAT PERFORMANCE by Marco Leonardi”—La Repubblica 

“An affectionate and indulgent film by Risi”—Qn II Caffe 

SYNOPSIS: Marco Leonardi stars as Argentine soccer hero Diego Maradona, considered the greatest player in the history of the sport. Dramatizing many of the shocking highs and lows of this extraordinary athlete, the film explores his impoverished childhood, his rise from teenage celebrity to international idol, his drug abuse problems and frequent run-ins with the law, and his now infamous "hand of God" goal.  MARADONA: THE HAND OF GOD is an affectionate, unflinchingly honest portrait of a man touched by God, yet pursued by demons.

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

10-20, A POWERFUL NEW FILM BY
UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR TERRISHA KEARSE,
ENTERS THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT

THIS IMPORTANT DRAMA, BASED ON TRUE EVENTS,
FEATURES AN AWARD-WINNING CAST
AND STARS EXCITING YOUNG TALENT JAH SHAMS!

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 1, 2009—10-20, a new film from Driver Seat Productions, is officially ready for release and will be screened at numerous film festivals in the coming months. The debut film from director Terrisha Kearse, 10-20 derives its name from the Florida law that guarantees a 10-year sentence for possession of an unlicensed firearm, and 20 years to life if the gun is aimed at a person with the intent to shoot or kill. Kearse, who also co-authored the film, based this fictional account on the real-life events that lead to the incarceration of a close family member. The film is currently under consideration for the American Black Film Festival and the St. John’s  International Women’s Film Festival, as well as for next year’s Sundance and Cannes festivals.

The cast features some of the most recognized names and faces from the worlds of theatre, film and television, along with star/co-writer Jah Shams, best known for his roles in the critically-acclaimed NBC series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and CW’s “Privileged”. Also in the cast are Toy Connor (“General Hospital”, HBO’s “The Corner”), Billy Mayo (The Perfect Storm, “Desperate Housewives”), Bee-Be Smith (“Sister Sister”, Bulworth), Kimberly Bailey (City Teacher, The Secret Life of Bees), Denise Dowse (Ray, Coach Carter) and Farelle Walker (BET’s “Hell Date”).

Robert Doyle, CEO of RMD Entertainment, has said of
10-20, “First-time director Terrisha Kearse brings to the screen a powerful character-driven film, filled with inspired dialogue and stunning performances. Do not be surprised in the coming months to see this film winning some major awards!”

10-20 tells the story of EJ Henderson (Jah Shams), who discovers at the tender age of 13 that his life is a lie. Tracy (Bee-Be Smith), his birth mother, was the victim of a brutal rape and gave him up to her childless sister, Candice (Kimberly Bailey), who raised him as her own. During these years, EJ channels his anger toward his abusive aunt and uncle into writing poetry. When Candice discovers that she is pregnant, she coldly admits the truth to EJ and sends him to live with Tracy. This betrayal turns the sensitive boy into an angry young man. EJ turns his back on Tracy and looks for acceptance on the streets. As his life spirals downward, EJ realizes too late that he can only control the present when he learns to deal with his past.

ABOUT DRIVER SEAT PRODUCTIONS:
Driver Seat Productions was formed in 2006 by producer/director Terrisha Kearse, who also serves as the company’s CEO. Specializing in everything from actor reels to feature films, Driver Seat Productions creates concepts with a visual style that makes even the simplest idea breathtaking. For more information, visit driverseatproductions.com.


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