Unapix picks pix to push

'Grass,' 'Urbania' to have limited summer releases

NEW YORK — Unapix Films Theatrical, a newly formed distrib arm of Unapix Entertainment headed by Richard Abramowitz, has acquired its first two films for release: “Grass,” a documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson, and Jon Shear’s “Urbania.” Both will have a limited release beginning this summer.

Helmed by Ron Mann, docu “Grass” examines the U.S. drug policy on marijuana since the 1930s. Pic, which unspooled at the Toronto, Berlin and South by Southwest film fests, will be released May 31 in New York, June 2 in San Francisco and June 16 in Los Angeles.

“Urbania,” about the nature of love and the effects of loss, addresses the meaning of sexual orientation. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2000 in the Dramatic Competition, pic stars Dan Futterman (“Shooting Fish”), Matt Keeslar (“Scream 3”), Josh Hamilton (“The House of Yes”) and Alan Cumming. Jon Shear’s directorial debut was produced by Shear, Stephanie Golden and J. Todd Harris.

“We’re thrilled to start this company with two films of such high quality and marketability,” Abramowitz said. “We’re opening ‘Grass’ at a lot of repertory theaters, which reduces our exposure financially and is less labor intensive as we start putting our organization in place. No pun intended, it will be a grassroots effort.

” ‘Urbania’ is an excellent film whose gay level provides us a specific audience to eventually tap to a broader audience.”

Unapix Films Theatrical, formed earlier this month, is planning to release five or six more films by the end of this year and will go to Cannes to fill out its release schedule into 2001.

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