Gravitas Ventures and Variance Films are teaming to acquire and co-release seven to eight independent films a year theatrically in the U.S. and Canada and on VOD.

Companies made the announcement Thursday, a day before the opening of South by Southwest, where the companies plan to use their acquisitions teams to seek out independent, documentary and foreign films that will benefit from a day and date theatrical/VOD release. Both companies will also continue to acquire films separately for their individual slates.

The partnership will utilize a P&A fund created by Gravitas while retaining key long-term rights. Variance will execute the theatrical release Gravitas will handle the film across VOD operators.

The companies touted the alliance as a natural extension of a relationship built over the last two years where Variance has handled theatrical and Gravitas has handled VOD include “American: The Bill Hicks Story, “Amigo,” “Ip Man,” “Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster,” “Until the Light Takes Us,” “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen,” “The Lottery,” “White on Rice” and “Passport to Love.”

“This partnership breaks down yet another barrier for filmmakers, creating an exciting and financially viable new alternative for those who might otherwise be forced to either accept a less-than-adequate arrangement or be forced back into the world of fundraising to search for P&A,” said Dylan Marchetti, founder of Variance Films.

Six-year-old Gravitas is owned by founder Nolan A. Gallagher and financed by cash flow.