Gunpowder & Sky acquires distributor FilmBuff

Under the deal, FilmBuff will be rebranded Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and continue to be led by CEO Janet Brown (pictured), who becomes EVP of distribution.
September 20, 2016

Digital studio Gunpowder & Sky has acquired independent content sales and distribution company FilmBuff.

Under the deal, FilmBuff will be rebranded Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and continue to be led by CEO Janet Brown (pictured), who becomes EVP of distribution.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Started earlier this year by former Viacom Music Group CEO Van Toffler and former Endemol exec Floris Bauer, with backing from AT&T and the Chernin Group, Gunpowder & Sky is a digitally focused production studio.

By acquiring FilmBuff and launching a sales and distribution arm, the nascent shop intends to bolster development, financing, production, distribution and marketing of original content, as well as represent third-party producers and creators. According to Floris Bauer, President, Gunpowder & Sky, the move has helped Gunpowder realize its early ambition of operating a soup to nuts studio that helps bring to life the vision of its creative partners, and distributes and markets content globally across platforms.

“Since there are no other distribution companies focused on the digital-first content space, we felt this was a large opportunity. As we are a digital-first content studio, their expertise in the digital-first content space, new (global) distribution models, and more efficient ways of marketing content, is extremely valuable. They also represent content from both veteran and emerging independent filmmakers worldwide which is in line with our model. Finally, we appreciate their scrappy and efficient approach, as well as their strong commitment to transparency,” Bauer told realscreen.

Based in New York and Los Angeles, FilmBuff launched in 2008 and was an early mover into digital distribution and digital-first content. Its documentary credits include the Oscar-nominated Exit Through the Gift Shop, Asif Kapadia‘s Senna, Jared Leto’s Artifact and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwartz.

It has also worked on Vulcan Productions’ short-form series We the Economy and the upcoming We the Voters, and on content produced in partnership with Vice, YouTube, Mashable and Conde Nast Entertainment.

In May, Gunpowder & Sky partnered with producer T Bone Burnett, animator Drew Christie and music television producer Bill Flanagan to develop the animated docuseries Drawn & Recorded.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.