The Orchard Sells Film Group to 1091 Media (EXCLUSIVE)

The Orchard Film Group, the indie studio behind “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “Life Animated,” is being sold to 1091 Media, Variety has learned.

The studio’s new owners are an investment group affiliated with the leadership team of digital media holding company Dimensional Associates. The companies have an agreement in principle, and under the terms of deal, 1091 Media will pick up all existing operations of the Orchard’s film and TV business.

The new company will be rechristened and is expected to continue investing in content, which likely means it will be on the prowl for movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The sale is taking place because the Orchard has decided to divest its film and TV division to focus its resources and investment on its core music operations. The agreement with 1091 Media reunites the film division with its original ownership team, which established the initial vision for the movie and television distribution business. In a release announcing the deal, 1091 says the new company will “pursue further opportunities in video content and distribution through new technologies and delivery.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Orchard’s staff is being notified of the deal on Thursday.

1091 Media’s principals are growth investors who also lead Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management. From 2003 to 2015, they owned a variety of media companies through Dimensional, including the Orchard and Dimensional Music Publishing, which boasts a music catalog with 25,000 copyrights including compositions by Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and John Denver. The Orchard is owned by Sony Music.

The Orchard’s past film releases include “The Hero,” a drama with Sam Elliott; the horror comedy “What We Do in the Shadows;” and the Oscar-nominated documentary “Cartel Land.”

More Film

  • 'Top Gun: Maverick' Trailer: Tom Cruise

    Tom Cruise Drops First Trailer for 'Top Gun: Maverick' at Comic-Con (Watch)

    Tom Cruise made a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday to hype the forthcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” and receive mass adoration from Hall H. “I felt it was my responsibility to deliver for you,” Cruise told the crowd, tugging local heartstrings by reminiscing on the original “Top Gun” shoot in Downtown San Diego. [...]

  • Tribeca Film Institute

    Tribeca Film Institute, Pond5 Announce Latest Indie Film Grantees (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Pond5 have once again teamed up to offer microgrants to indie filmmakers and artists. The grants, which go as high as $7,500, are intended to help storytellers during “in-between” phases of their projects, such as research, festival travel or community screenings. They’re the kind of unexpected costs that can lead [...]

  • On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los

    On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los Angeles in Second Quarter

    Held down by a lack of soundstage space, total on-location filming in greater Los Angeles declined 3.9% in the second quarter to 8,632 shoot days, permitting agency FilmLA reported Thursday. “Although our latest report reveals a decline in filming on location, local production facilities tell us that they are operating at capacity,” said FilmLA president [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    U.S. Box Office, Movie Admissions, Ticket Price Fall in Second Quarter

    U.S. movie admissions slid 2.5% in the second quarter of 2019 to 347.8 million, with box office receipts declining 3.8% to $3.22 billion on the heels of a record-setting year, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) reported Thursday. The overall ticket price for the quarter slipped 1.3%, or 12 cents, to $9.26, compared to [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    'Terminator: Dark Fate' Will Definitely Be R-Rated, Tim Miller Reveals at Comic-Con

    “Terminator: Dark Fate” is not just a reboot of a beloved franchise, it’s a return to hardcore form that will receive an R rating from the MPAA. Announced at San Diego Comic Con’s opening Hall H panel on Thursday, the move is a departure from the PG-13 status of recent reboot attempts like “Terminator: Genisys” [...]

  • In Search

    Rushlake Takes World Rights for Two Acclaimed African Docs (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Cologne-based Rushlake Media has acquired world sales rights for “The Sound of Masks,” by Portuguese filmmaker Sara Gouveia, and “In Search,” by Kenyan director Beryl Magoko. The announcement was made Thursday at the Durban Intl. Film Festival, where both documentaries are screening. Rushlake’s Philipp Hoffmann says the two films will bolster the company’s growing slate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content