UPDATE 2:49 p.m. EST: An earlier version of this story stated that Gathr Films had acquired TOD and traditional theatrical rights for Return to Homs for North America. A spokesperson for Gathr has since clarified that the rights are for the U.S.
Los Angeles-based “theatrical on demand” (or TOD) company Gathr Films has acquired both TOD and traditional theatrical rights for the U.S. to the Sundance award-winner Return to Homs from Journeyman Pictures.
In February, London-based Journeyman picked up worldwide distribution rights to the film, which took the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival just weeks prior to that deal.
Directed by Talal Derki, the documentary was filmed over three years in Homs, Syria, and follows two young men in the midst of the conflict within the country, and their journey from peaceful protestors to armed rebels.
The film will be first released to theatres in Los Angeles on June 13 and New York on July 7, with other major markets to follow.
Gathr Films has also picked up traditional distribution and TOD rights to Todd Huffman’s Penton: The John Penton Story, which tells the story of the titular motorcycle champion rider and developer. The film, narrated by Lyle Lovett, will be released via the theatrical on demand model in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Boston and Detroit commencing June 23.
The company has also acquired TOD rights to I Am Eleven, a documentary portrait of childhood from Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey.
Gathr, an early player in the burgeoning “theatrical on demand” movement, uses a crowdsourcing model to grant audiences the ability to have a film screening in their towns or cities. Film fans can book tickets for a screening at a nearby venue, but the screening only goes ahead, and money for the tickets only changes hands, if a certain number of seats gets sold.
“We are incredibly proud to continue to be the theatrical model of choice for filmmakers and distributors that are committed to capturing incremental theatrical demand all over the country, not just in a handful of major markets,” said Gathr CEO Scott Glosserman in a statement.