LOS ANGELES - November 15 - Since opening in 2003, Cinema Libre Studio has built a reputation as the “go-to” distribution company for social issue films. In 2006, the company has expanded its influence by winning five festival awards for its feature films and documentary productions. Today, the company announces that it will devote its resources to the production of two to five humanitarian, environmental or social issue movies per year in partnership with non-profit foundations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).
The company’s first film made in partnership with the international aid organization Action Against Hunger, “The Empire In Africa,” was selected for the Critic’s Week at Cannes and has won best documentary awards this year at Slamdance Film Festival and Hollywood Film Festival. The film, co-financed by both companies, examines the humanitarian crises resulting from the decade long civil war in Sierra Leone.
A second project, “Progress vs. Poverty,” has recently started production. Directed by Diaz, the documentary feature will question why there continues to be such poverty in light of so much progress, through interviews with global experts, spokespeople for the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank and NGOs on the ground in Kenya, South Africa, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, South Korea and the United States. The movie is produced by a partnership between Cinema Libre Studio and the Robert Shalkenbach Foundation in New York. It will be finished for a summer 2007 worldwide release.
Founded in 2003, the studio was created with the mission to be a haven for filmmakers with views. The company first made a name on the film distribution scene with the 2004 release of Robert Greenwald’s “Uncovered: The War On Iraq” followed closely by the release of “Outfoxed,” and has since distributed a plethora of thought provoking documentary and feature films in theatres and on DVD. The company also has a full-service post-production facility and has ramped up its production division, which has already garnered the studio five film festival awards in 2006.
“As activists and filmmakers, we know that cinema is a powerful tool to educate about or report on a humanitarian crisis,” says founder Philippe Diaz. “Although many foundations and NGO’s may want to use cinema, they lack the expertise to create a quality film, and more importantly, lack the means for a wide commercial distribution therefore, limiting its chance of reaching and educating a wide audience.”
The studio will work with foundations and NGO’s in a co-production arrangement by bringing in its personnel, production equipment, post-production facility and financing to select projects in 2007. The company will also raise financing from individuals and organizations as well as distributing the film worldwide. Additionally, the studio will guarantee the theatrical release of these feature length films in cities across the U.S.
The studio is developing similar projects including an in-depth study of Third World debt (“The Debt”), a feature film on the crisis in Darfur, and is in discussion with several foundations and NGOs.
Since the beginning of the year, Cinema Libre Studio productions have won awards for Diaz’s shocking documentary, “The Empire In Africa,” which won Best Documentary honors at Slamdance and the Hollywood Film Festival. Other award-winning films include: “Conventioneers,”(Winner of the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards ‘John Cassavetes’ Award and Best Feature at the Florida Film Festival) and “Giuliani Time” (Best Documentary at the Silver Lake Film Festival 2006).
Cinema Libre Studio is a haven for independent filmmakers with views. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is best known for distributing titles that include: “Outfoxed,” “Uncovered,” Tim Robbins’ “Embedded Live,” “Giuliani Time” and “America: Freedom to Fascism.” Since the beginning of the year, Cinema Libre Studio films have won five awards including “Conventioneers,”(Winner of the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards ‘John Cassavetes’ Award and Best Feature at the Florida Film Festival), “The Empire in Africa,” (Best Documentary at Slamdance 2006 and Best Documentary Hollywood Film Festival), and “Giuliani Time” (Best Documentary at the Silver Lake Film Festival 2006). For more information visit www.cinemalibrestudio.com.