Los Angeles, CA – July 13, 2006 – Withoutabox, Inc., the worldwide network for the independent film community, has acquired Film Finders, the preeminent film production and rights database and consulting company, with plans to fully integrate their established business model and operations into Withoutabox’s diversified businesses, Withoutabox CEO and co-founder David Straus announced today. As part of the acquisition, Film Finders founder and President Sydney Levine and Executive Vice President Peter Belsito will become executives of Withoutabox while they continue to run the Film Finders division.
In a related move, Withoutabox has entered into a strategic partnership with Rightsline, the leading provider of enterprise-grade rights management software.
Withoutabox will integrate its existing online systems with the Film Finders database and Rightsline platform to offer an encyclopedic online marketplace for film rights that will allow independents to carve out economically viable careers, and will create efficiencies for buyers and sellers in more than 200 countries.
Film Finders brings a pedigreed rights database with an 18-year history and international industry knowledge. Rightsline brings a plug-n-play rights platform to power the marketplace, a system already in use by major film and music publishing labels such as Universal and EMI.
Rightsholders will maintain complete control over their database listings and intellectual properties.
All three companies bring considerable customer and industry relationships to the effort, including international buyers and sellers in all media and territories, major studios and classics divisions, and more than 600 film festivals and markets. “We’re democratizing the tools of distribution and connecting the dots for independent rights owners” says Straus. “Sydney and Peter will make excellent partners as we move forward.”
This acquisition reflects Withoutabox’s core commitment to advance independent film through a vertically integrated set of marketing and distribution tools.
It provides several notable benefits for the film industry, including:
· Reduced film distribution and marketing costs;
· Unprecedented opportunities for independent filmmakers to monetize their work through traditional and self-distribution channels;
· A greater number of choices for film lovers than ever before.
"These strategic alliances allow us to offer the most comprehensive open marketplace to our 90,000-plus rights owners along with thousands of buyers, sales agents and distributors throughout the world, facilitated by a unique combination of expertise and technology”, says Joe Neulight, President and co-founder, Withoutabox..
“We were drawn to the sound business model Withoutabox employs and the steady growth of the company for the past six years,” Ms. Levine says. “This is a company we’ve been watching and want to be part of, and we believe our allied efforts create an offering greater than the sum of each individual member.”
Film Finders offers the most comprehensive and respected database for film rights tracking in the world. As a division of Withoutabox, Inc., the Company will continue to provide factual reports on who's buying and selling film properties, as well as which territories and rights are available in the current market. Film Finders will also continue to offer exclusive consulting services to filmmakers, film festivals, and governments.
“With Sydney and Peter’s expertise and Rightsline’s robust product offerings —including in-house rights management coupled with a full-featured online licensing interface – Withoutabox becomes the top advocate for independent rights owners,” says Russell Reeder, Founder and CEO of Rightsline. “We share Withoutabox’s timely vision for an open rights marketplace and wanted to be a part of making it happen with them.”
Rightsline's proprietary enterprise software suite enables sellers to identify and catalog their rights, simplifies the process by which buyers locate desired properties, automates licensing, and streamlines the generation and management of contracts. The software dramatically reduces transaction costs for buyers and sellers, whether managing one property or thousands at a time.
These companies join forces at a time when Withoutabox is already expanding its services. In addition to the company’s proprietary International Film Festival Submission System – established in 2000 – Withoutabox’s newly launched Audience platform provides filmmakers with a potent social networking, direct marketing and point-of-sale tool for self-distribution, while also allowing film festival directors to build an interactive audience buzz around their events.
Withoutabox also recently launched The Distribution Lab, a real-world testing ground for innovations in film releasing. Current projects in this division include Joaquin Montalvan’s “Visual Futurist: The Art and Life of Syd Mead,” Arin Crumley and Susan Buice’s, “Four Eyed Monsters,” and Jacques Thelemaque’s “The Dogwalker.”