SearchParty seeks recruits

Columbia TriStar Home Video, ShadowCatcher Entertainment and producer Larry Estes have announced the formation and sponsorship of SearchParty, a mentor program to provide funding and distribution for pics in the $1 million range.

“We are looking to give the deserving people their big break,” Estes, a former TriStar exec and current producer for ShadowCatcher, told Daily Variety. “At the same time, we want to pair them with (experienced) people who have been where they were.”

“The cornerstone of our business is nurturing creative talent as well as providing financial support,” said Peter Schlessel, CTHV senior VP of acquisitions, production and business affairs in a statement.

Beginning Aug. 1, Seattle-based ShadowCatcher will accept written applications (consisting of a brief pitch and a description of the filmmaker’s experience). First-cut applicants will asked to submit their screenplays.

Then an advisory panel, which includes ShadowCatcher, CTHV and Estes as well as a volunteer group of experienced writers and directors, will review the screenplays. Semifinalists will be interviewed by the panel, and selected projects will receive funding and CTHV distribution. The first panel meeting will be scheduled this fall.

SearchParty will be dedicated to Robert Blattner, former first prexy of RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, who died in a plane crash in 1992.

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