Blowtorch will ignite films

Company negotiating with major theater chains

Blowtorch Entertainment has secured more than $50 million to create a media company that will target the college/young-adult audience with films and other visual content.

Blowtorch was established by entertainment, technology and advertising biz veterans. Its vision is to match youth-oriented pics with innovative releasing models for online, theatrical or mobile. Company will launch a three-year stream of feature films and shortform content to be released on hundreds of screens in college markets. Execs also plan to build a online community.

Blowtorch will produce or acquire five or six movies and release them during the school year in college markets, building “blowtorch” events around them both on-campus and in theaters. Plan is for Thursday-Sunday engagements on a few hundred screens; if Blowtorch believes a pic is worthy of a larger audience, it plans to bring in partners to release on 1,000-1,500 screens.

Company is in negotiations with major theater chains, including Regal, AMC and Landmark.

“Our goal is not to move faster than the market,” Blowtorch CEO Kelly Rodriques said. “We’ll see where the real business is in two years.”

Blowtorch’s first movie, the teen thriller “You Are Here,” produced by Blowtorch board member Paul Schiff and directed by Henry Pincus, will be released in the spring.

Vivendi Visual Entertainment has been tapped to distribute Blowtorch films on DVD.

Besides Rodriques, who helped found the interactive marketing group at Ogilvy & Mather, execs include media group president Steve Weinswig, formerly North American chief operating officer of Arc Worldwide, and chief content officer Rich Hull, a film, television and documentary producer (“She’s All That,” “Daddy Day Camp”).

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