Franco's 'Broken Tower' to bow digitally on Jan. 10
Focus World, the unique digital distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, has set its slate for the first quarter of 2012.The new Focus World selections include James Franco’s “The Broken Tower,” which will be released digitally on Jan. 10; Gaukur Ulfarsson’s documentary feature “Gnarr,” set to bow on Feb. 7; and Liza Johnson’s “Return,” which will be released Feb. 28. In addition, Focus World and Entertainment One will release several titles — all already available digitally — on DVD throughout the first quarter of 2012: Alma Har’el’s “Bombay Beach” on Jan. 17, Jon Foy’s “Resurrect Dead” on Jan. 31 and Toniko Melo’s “VIPs” on Feb. 14. Black-and-white pic “The Broken Tower,” which debuted at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, stars writer-director Franco as “Lost Generation” poet Hart Crane. “Gnarr,” which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles comedian Jon Gnarr’s campaign for mayor of Reykjavik. The campaign originated as a joke but became a political statement and achieved an unexpected momentum that swept Gnarr into office. Focus World will digitally distribute the documentary during the height of next year’s U.S. presidential primary season. “Return,” which premiered as part of the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, is a drama about a U.S. Army reservist (Linda Cardellini) who comes home after a tour of duty and has trouble readjusting to small-town life. Michael Shannon and John Slattery co-star. Launched earlier this year, Focus World says it identifies and curates the most exciting voices in international and independent cinema. Part of Focus Features’ multiplatform strategy, Focus World presents titles “of genuine vision and originality” as premiere releases on EST, iVOD and VOD, along with DVD and other formats. The Focus World deals were closed by Avy Eschenasy, exec VP of strategic planning, business affairs and acquisitions, along with Kent Sanderson, manager of digital content.