Matson hangs distrib banner, unfurls ‘Tong’

Distrib unit give its 'All'

NEW YORK — Richard Matson, a co-founder of online entity Transmission Films, has launched Gotham-based theatrical distrib unit Matson Films. Unit’s first pic will be the Toronto acquisition “It’s All Gone Pete Tong,” a faux biopic centering on a legendary club DJ who finds himself losing his hearing and his career.

“Tong” stars Paul Kaye as Frankie Wilde, a turntablist who becomes one of the top draws in club mecca Ibiza, only to lose it all to hearing loss. Pic’s title refers to a rival of Wilde’s, the real life DJ Pete Tong, as well as the Cockney rhyming slang for the phrase “It’s All Gone Wrong.”

Michael Dowse wrote and directed. DJs Tong, Carl Cox, Tiesto and Paul Van Dyke make cameos, while Michael Wilmot, Dave Lawrence and Paul J. Spence co-star.

Matson said his new banner is gunning for the 18- to 34-year-old crowd with the pickup and its upcoming slate.

“The space we see in independent film is for a younger market,” he said. “We just feel that they’re being underserved by most of the industry.”

“Tong” was named best Canuck film in Toronto. The U.K.-Canadian co-production bowed in the Canada First section and was produced through the Vertigo Films and True West Films labels.

Matson plans to release the film in 50 markets this April, and has U.S. rights.

Unit will lean largely on Internet marketing to push “Tong,” and has 15 different Web sites launching to support pic with 11 hours of additional footage.

To aid the PR push, Tong — an exec producer on the film — will make a series of appearances.

Matson previously served as distrib prexy for Palisades Pictures.

Rounding out the exec ranks, former Gramercy Group head and Palisades co-founder Mark Severini is on board at Matson as head of marketing and brand partnerships.

Transmission’s chief technology officer, Albert Lai, has additionally joined Matson Films as chief financial officer.

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