Vortex, A71 realign operations under Vortex Media banner

The rebrand and realignment comes during a period of rapid change and expansion for the film-focused entity.

justin rebelo (credit eone)Vortex Words + Pictures and A71 Releasing are realigning their various business units under the Vortex Media banner.

The rebranded entity, which the company describes as a “boutique entertainment studio,” will now be comprised of: Vortex Canada, a theatrical releasing company focused on feature films in Canada; Vortex International, a worldwide sales and distribution company; and in-house production arm Vortex Productions.

Partners in the realigned company are chairman Bill Marks, CEO Justin Rebelo (pictured) and chief creative officer Jesse Ikeman, all of whom are based in Vortex’s Toronto head office.

The announcement of the rebrand comes during a period of rapid change and expansion for the film-focused entity.

In June, Sydney, Australia-based Ben Bishop was tapped to lead Vortex International as president. The following month, Rob Harrison – who is based in the company’s Hamilton, ON office – was named EVP, marketing and distribution. Both Harrison and Bishop report to Rebelo, who was named CEO in January. Meanwhile, Christopher Giroux serves as head of production and Courtney McAllister as head of development, with both working out of the Toronto office.

The move represents a streamlining of the company’s operations and branding, which had at times become difficult to keep track of as various business units used the Vortex, A71 and V71 monikers.

Vortex Words + Pictures, a prodco founded in 1983, last year acquired a majority interest in A71 Entertainment, as well as taking full ownership of V71 Entertainment, a distribution- and sales-focused joint venture launched by in 2017.

In addition to expanding its production output – scaling up its in-house production arm to self-finance and produce between 10 and 12 feature films and TV movies annually – Vortex also significantly bulked up its distribution library with the acquisition of the D Films library, after D was placed in privately appointed receivership and its assets went up for sale.

“This is a watershed moment in the growth of the company with all the pieces coming together to fulfill the boutique studio vision. It’s the result of a lot of hard work and team building,” said Rebelo in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud of our momentum as a company and look forward to further growth in 2021.”

Recent productions from Vortex include: festive rom-com Inn Love By Christmas, which is set to premiere in the U.S. on Lifetime Network on Dec. 11, and on W Network in Canada later that month; and Learning to Love Again, also set to premiere in Canada on Oct. 10th on W Network and in the U.S. in 2021. As well, Anything for Jackson starring Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings, which recently had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, will premiere in Canada as a Super Channel Fuse original movie on Oct. 28.

On the indie features side, Vortex Canada released the sci-fi film 2067 on VOD on Oct. 2,. Meanwhile,  thriller The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw opens in theatres on Oct. 9.