A-Pix Entertainment plans to distribute 22 feature films to the homevideo market in the coming months as it aggressively steps up its release slate.

The new venture, a subsidiary of Unapix Entertainment, will obtain product from a variety of sources, including an in-house-produced slate of theatrically released and direct-for-video films.

A-Pix also has cut a deal with ACI — a consortium of eight production companies that create TV and feature films — to distribute homevideo releases of its TV shows and smaller-budgeted features. A-Pix will alsotap cable companies as a source, releasing shows after their premiere.

Financing for the productions will come from funds raised during the company’s initial public offering held last June, and from a “rather large acquisition fund,” according to company president Robert E. Baruc.

Baruc said four or five films in the first half of 1994 will be negative pickup deals. The company also has six pix in various stages of production that are expected to be available theatrically during the latter part of 1994.

“About half of what we release will be direct to video and the other half will be handled theatrically,” Baruc said. “All titles (once on video) will be placed into the rental marketplace, rather than sell-through.”

Baruc, who will oversee acquisitions, added that A-Pix releases will lean toward programming that he believes is typically ignored by network TV, such as “sexy thrillers.”

He said he expects that A-Pix will mix some family-oriented fare into its release slate, as well as some action titles.

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