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Fox Launching Vice Films as Joint Venture

Vice Media and 20th Century Fox are teaming on Vice Films as a joint venture film label for movies from emerging directors.

The new venture will develop, produce, finance, market, acquire and distribute at least two films a year.

Vice already releases documentaries and TV shows through the Vice Films label. Its first theatrical release was “White Lightnin'” in 2009, followed by “The Ride” in 2010.

Vice has released a trio of movie titles this year — “Fishing Without Nets,” the skateboard documentary “All this Mayhem” and the Iranian vampire film “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.”

Vice announced in June that it had agreed to a digital distribution deal with Fox’s home entertainment arm for its Sundance pic “Fishing Without Nets,” which tells the story of a young Somali lured into the world of piracy to support the family he loves.

Fox parent 21st Century Fox invested $70 million last year in Vice Media for a 5% stake. A&E Networks agreed in August to pay $250 million for a 10% stake in Vice Media.

Monday’s announcement said the partnership will look to both theatrical and new digital business models for distribution.

The deal calls for Vice to have a first-look production deal with 20th Century Fox in order to give the opportunity to develop larger budgeted films as well. Fox will be able to develop material based on Vice’s library of stories for potential feature films.

The joint venture was developed by 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and Vice CEO Shane Smith and chief creative officer Eddy Moretti, who will serve as the head of Vice Films.

Danny Gabai will head up development and oversee creative on production and marketing. Sanford Panitch, the president of Fox International Productions, and Salil Mehta, president of Content Management, will oversee Vice Films for Fox.

Gianopulos said in a statemement, “Vice not only knows how to reach that audience but markets to them better than anyone else out there. We’re very proud to embark on this exciting venture with our new partners.”

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