Syfy today announced that it will join forces with After Dark Films, the independent production company behind the annual Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For, to produce two films for the channel’s popular Saturday Original Movie franchise.
The first After Dark-Syfy co-production is Scream of the Banshee, starring Lauren Holly (NCIS) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens). The film, directed by Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion), is scheduled to premiere on Syfy in 2011. Holly plays an archeology professor who unearths a dangerous artifact, unwittingly releasing a creature that is able to kill with the power of its bone-splitting scream.
In addition, After Dark Films and Syfy have developed the Original Movie 51 to be directed by Jason Connery (The Devil’s Tomb). The film chronicles what happens after political pressure from the American public forces the Air Force to decide to allow a select few well-known reporters limited access to the most secretive base on the planet: Area 51. But when one of the base’s hidden “long term visitors” exploits this unprecedented visit as a chance to liberate himself and his fellow alien captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.
Since October 2007, Syfy has celebrated After Dark’s 8 Films To Die For event by premiering some of the festival’s top movies. In October 2010 Syfy will showcase the latest groundbreaking films from the Horrorfest 4 line-up.
In making the announcement, Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, said: “We’ve aired nearly 20 After Dark acquired movies, which have played very well with our viewers. Because of After Dark’s strong branding, effective production values and understanding of the audience, we are excited to expand our relationship with the company by developing and commissioning new Saturday Original Movies with the After Dark team.”
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 96 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
After Dark Films, an Independent motion picture studio, was formed in 2006 by director/filmmaker Courtney Solomon and Hong Kong based real estate magnate Allan Zeman. After Dark Films’ first motion picture film release was An American Haunting (2006) starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland. Co-founder and CEO Courtney Solomon wrote, produced, and directed this film under the newly formed After Dark Films banner.
After the release of An American Haunting, partners Solomon and Zeman formed a multi-year marketing and distribution deal for Horrorfest “8 Films To Die For” between After Dark Films and Lionsgate Entertainment, with After Dark handling theatrical marketing & releases and Lionsgate handling the distribution of all ancillary forms of media (Home Video, Pay TV, Pay Per View).
The Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For brand was launched in 2006, creating the first festival of its kind, a week-long nationwide theatrical event that gives horror fans the chance to enjoy 8 new films that push the envelope and span across the genre from supernatural to psychological to creature features.
After Dark Films just released Horrorfest 4 in theaters on January 29, 2010 and the DVDs hit stores this month. Building on Horrorfest’s successful acquisition and distribution model, After Dark will release 8 originally produced horror films in September 2010 under the moniker After Dark Originals.