Gravitas Ventures is releasing a number of high-profile new movies later this month and in February.
Gravitas has picked up North American rights to Saro Varjabedian’s feature film Respite, which will be available to rent or own on all platforms from January 26.
In the movie, down and out private-eye Jimmy Baz reluctantly takes on a case to find a missing college student when the dead bodies of Muslim men start turning up, leading him to believe he is now searching for a serial killer.
Directed by Saro Varjabedian and written by Varjabedian and Ali Abouomar, Respite was produced by Monte Bezell, Julián Juaquín, Ahmet Devran Dayanc, and Karina Bezell, and stars Monte Bezell, Julián Juaquín, Ahmet Devran Dayanc, Haythem Noor, Leslie Kalarchian, Baylen Thomas, and Guillermo Iván.
Gravitas Ventures Acquisitions Coordinator, Megan Huggins, said of the movie that: “A disturbing, centuries old custom from another land, which has ripple effects in the United States, is a difficult subject for the screen. Producer Monte Bezell and director Saro Varjabedian succeed by not vilifying a culture and relying on shock, instead crafting a film with a unique premise, genuine intrigue and tension that keeps the viewer on edge through to the shocking end.
Out next month from Gravitas is documentary Meltdown, from filmmaker Mike Tollin and director Fredric Golding. The pair collaborated on Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream, which won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award, and On the Mat which won an audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Acquired for North America and released on February 12, the film follows acclaimed photographer Lynn Davis and climate scientist Tony Leiserowitz as they confront the effects of climate change in a remote area of the world. The two travel to the picturesque town of Illulisat, Greenland, which is “Ground Zero” for the climate crisis in a study of the convergence between art and science.
“I realized that Meltdown was going to be a truly unique film when we were shooting on the vast ice sheet in Greenland with unlimited depth of field and I suddenly heard the ice cracking around my feet,” said Golding. “Lynn and Tony took it all in stride as we walked back to the helicopter. We captured beauty with a capital B.”
“Making Meltdown was a hugely rewarding and eye-opening experience for us all,” said Tollin. “ To watch Lynn at work, capturing the majesty of the icebergs, was fascinating. And sharing the journey with Tony gave us a brand-new insight into how global climate change impacts all of our lives.”
“Frederic’s film utilizes the beauty of Lynn’s work as a stark reminder of what we stand to lose in this global crisis. We look forward to presenting this timely documentary to North American audiences,” said Tony Piantedosi, Vice President of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.
Also released in February, is Tyger Tyger, a new thriller starring Dylan Sprouse (Riverdale).
Gravitas has picked up worldwide rights to the film, which will play in select theatres and drive-ins, plus digital platforms, from February 26.
Written and directed by Kerry Mondragon before the Covid-19 pandemic, the movie follows a frustrated woman named Blake (Sam Quartin), who robs a pharmacy for life-saving medication while awaiting her test results during a pandemic. She ditches her loser boyfriend (Max Madsen) and makes a deal with a drug addict named Luke (Sprouse) to help distribute the stolen meds to those who need it.
“‘Tyger Tyger’ is a personal and magical story about love and drug addiction in the midst of a pandemic. Though we shot this story before the events of 2020, we know both the timeliness and universal themes in the movie will connect with audiences across the world. We’re thrilled to be working with Gravitas, a company that recognizes the urgency of delivering a film that speaks to young people facing today’s daunting challenges,” said Kerry Mondragon.
“‘Tyger Tyger’ is a unique vision that is as compelling as it is timely. Gravitas is thrilled to be bringing the film to audiences everywhere,” said Brett Rogalsky, manager of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.
The film is produced by Uninflected Pictures and Salvatore Sclafani, and is executive produced by Mondragon, Mary Rose Costello, Casey Mondragon, Shane Jerominski, Phil Batlin and Akshay D’souza. Jack Nielsen, Kaly Ngo and Joe D’augustine co-produced.