Phase 4 takes rights to four films at Cannes

The indie distributor also secured a multi-million financing deal with Aver Media Finance to expand its distribution business (The Crash Reel pictured).
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Toronto-based indie distributor Phase 4 Films has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to four films – Free Ride, Jamesy Boy, Philosophers and The Crash Reel – at the Cannes Film Festival.

And as part of a strategy to expand its business, the company also finalized a long-term, multi-million dollar financing arrangement with Aver Media Finance, part of the BMO Financial Group. The deal will provide Phase 4 with additional resources to expand its content acquisitions and distribution business.

Shana Betz’s crime thriller Free Ride stars Anna Paquin, Cam Gigandet and Drea De Matteo, and is based on Betz’s life story. The film is exec produced by Mark Larkin and Stephen Moyer. Phase 4′s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe negotiated the deal with Paradigm’s Nick LoPiccolo and attorney Ron Levin on behalf of the filmmakers. Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales.

Jamesy Boy, directed by Trevor White and written by White and Lane Shadgett, is about a teenager who, in maximum security prison forms a friendship with a convicted murderer who becomes his mentor and helps him turn his life around. Mary-Louise Parker, James Woosd, Ving Rhames, Taissa Farmiga and Spencer Lofranco star in the film. Phase 4′s Greenberg and Barry Gordon of XLrator Media and Paradigm Finance Group negotiated the deal. Atlas International is handling international sales.

Sci-fi thriller Philosophers, written and directed by John Huddles, stars James Darcy, Sophie Lowe, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, Rhys Wakefield and Bonnie Wright, is the story of a philosophy teacher in Jakarta who challenges his senior class to choose which of them would take shelter underground to help reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear apocalypse. Phase 4′s Greenberg and Howe negotiated the deal with Paradigm.

And Crash Reel (pictured), directed by Lucy Walker, follows snowboarders Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, also childhood friends, in their epic rivalry and very different journeys to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Pedro Kos and Walker wrote the screenplay for the film, produced by Julian Cautherley and Walker, and exec produced by Sheila Nevins. HBO, which helped to finance the film, is retaining U.S. TV broadcast rights. Phase 4 is planning a theatrical release for early winter 2013.

Phase 4′s Greenberg and Sam Posner negotiated the deal with The Film Sales Company’s Andrew Herwitz.