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FilmBuff Takes ‘Red Obsession’ Just Before Tribeca Bow

Digital distributor plans fall release for doc about Bordeaux wine and its Chinese fans

Hours before the official opening of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the fest had already notched an acquisition deal  it could tout: Producers of “Red Obsession,” the doc about Chinese enthusiasm for Bordeaux wines, have sealed a deal with Gotham-based distributor FilmBuff ahead of its Tribeca screening April 20.

Festival showcase will rep the title’s North American debut, following its world preem at the Berlin Intl. Film Festival earlier this year. Warwick Ross and David Roach direct the docu, which is narrated by Russell Crowe.

The FilmBuff deal, which combines a theatrical component with a digital strategy, reps the kind of new-media distribution pact that an increasing number of indie filmmakers have explored in recent years. Tribeca itself has made multiplatform content and distribution an important aspect of its programming (with its transmedia Storyscapes lineup) and of its affiliated distributor, Tribeca Film, which tends to incorporate VOD and digital outlets into its release strategy for a film.

Red Obsession,” which centers on the high demand for the limited supplies of Bordeaux wines from nouveau-riche Chinese enthusiasts, is produced by Ross of Lion Rock Films and exec produced by Robert Coe.

FilmBuff — which distributes content on digital outlets through cable and satellite TV services, game consoles and online retailers — will release “Red Obsession” digitally in September, when a string of multi-city theatrical bookings will also be skedded. Pic joins a FilmBuff slate that also includes “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan.”

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