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Alliance, Arclight in American Union

Joint venture will distribute films in U.S. markets

Canada’s Alliance Atlantis and Oz-based Arclight Films have created a joint U.S. venture, Union Station Media, to distribute films in ancillary markets Stateside.

Headed by prexy Paul Gardner, a former Lionsgate exec, Union Station Media has lined up its first trio of releases, with more acquisitions expected at Cannes.

“The Sisters,” a drama starring Maria Bello, Mary Stuart Masterson and Erika Christensen, debuted in theaters last month and will arrive June 13 on DVD. Direct-to-vid docu “Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs” arrives in stores May 30 followed by the DVD bow of “Deck Dogz,” a skater pic starring Tony Hawk.

Gardner said Union Station will release 12-18 pics its first year and up to 22 its second, with about 25% receiving theatrical release and the rest debuting on disc. High-def versions and digital downloads are expected in the future.

“We wanted to have a footprint in the U.S. marketplace,” Gardner said. “We recognize that the DVD marketplace has matured, but being a content provider still represents a tremendous opportunity.”

Prior to handling Lionsgate acquisitions, Gardner toiled at Artisan.

The joint venture has tapped Barbara Javitz as senior veep of operations and Deborah Katz as brand manager.

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