Canvas Media Studios and MarVista Entertainment have hammered out a six-film slate deal that will be focused on identifying diverse, first-time and up-and-coming writers and directors.
The agreement will involve fully financed completed titles with a pre-buy distribution commitment from MarVista Entertainment, which will also oversee global distribution for all films produced under the partnership.
Canvas, a venture capital-backed content company, is led by David Tochterman, an industry vet with stints at Overbrook Entertainment and the Carsey-Werner Company. MarVista Entertainment, a division of Fox Entertainment, averages 80 new movies per year.
MarVista’s recent projects include the Amazon Prime Video release “Christmas Is Canceled” starring Hayley Orrantia, Dermot Mulroney and Janel Parrish; “Stay Awake,” with Chrissy Metz; and the IFC release “Hunter Hunter,” toplined by Devon Sawa, Nick Stahl and Camille Sullivan.
Canvas just wrapped production on its first film under the deal with Marvista, “Don’t Let It In,” which is written and directed by Jay Henric, based on her short film of the same name. “Don’t Let It In” is a genre thriller starring an entirely Native American lead cast, and was filmed with the cooperation of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and shot partially on the Big Cypress Reservation in the Everglades. Tochterman is executive producer alongside Allen DeBevoise, Allison Vanore, Everett Osceola, Yann Henric and Jordan Barillas, and David Massey and Fernando Szew for MarVista. Henric, Stephen Henric and Corey Moss are producers.
“Canvas is focusing on the creation of new premium video franchises from up-and-coming creators to provide for new programming brands for the highly competitive premium video market,” said Canvas lead investor DeBevoise of Third Wave Digital Fund.
Tochterman said, “By providing young filmmakers with financing and distribution, and bringing our production expertise, we want to empower diverse creative entrepreneurs. We are very excited that MarVista believes in our model, and with this partnership we have an opportunity to aggressively target both domestic and international distribution with completed films.”
“Canvas’ dedication to discovering, developing and producing films alongside the next generation of creators and storytellers is very much aligned with MarVista’s ongoing commitment to support filmmakers with unique voices and diverse perspectives,” said MarVista CEO Szew. “We look forward to partnering further with David and the team at Canvas to deliver this premium content to our multiplatform partners worldwide.”