Unapix picks pix to push

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

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 films will have a limited release beginning this summer.

Weeding out

Helmed by Ron Mann, docu “Grass” examines the U.S. drug policy on marijuana since the 1930s. Pic, which ran 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 is Jon Shear’s directorial debut. It stars Dan Futterman (“Shooting Fish”), Matt Keesler (“Scream 3”), Josh Hamilton (“The House of Yes”) and Alan Cumming, and was produced by Stephanie Golden, Jon Shear and J. Todd Harris.

‘High quality’

“We’re thrilled to start this company with two films of such high quality and marketability,” said Abramowitz. “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 our their release schedule into 2001.

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