Yale Entertainment Co-Leads Expansion with New Sales Division Great Escape | Characteristics

Expansion is the name of the game at Yale Entertainment, where co-directors Jordan Yale Levine and Jordan Beckerman launched their in-house sales company Great Escape, run by Nick Donnermeyer. The former president of international sales for Bleiberg Entertainment is in talks with buyers of the virtual EFM on an initial listing from Yale Entertainment stablemate Yale Productions. Third-party titles will arrive in due course and for now the list includes Brittany Snow’s feature debut September 17which is lined up for a spring shoot.

Levine is an old friend of Snow, who starred in the Perfect deductible and hair spray. He worked with her on Petunia in his pre-Yale days as an independent producer and more recently they produced Login with Beckerman in 2019. “We were just looking for the right time to do it,” Levine says of the drama about a young woman fresh out of rehab who meets a man.

The debut will be one of 10 feature films that Yale, which currently employs about 12 people, intends to make in 2022, alone or with partners. Five years after Levine restarted the business with the arrival of Beckerman, a former attorney, they’ve barely stood still. Yale Productions was one of the first companies to resume production despite the pandemic in late summer 2020 with the action thriller Tyrese Gibson rogue hostage.

In progress

Panama

The next film to open will be the Cole Hauser and Mel Gibson action thriller Panama in March via Saban Films. He filmed in Puerto Rico in late 2020 during the pandemic. “We are proud of Panamabecause it wasn’t a location and it wasn’t a confined movie with few actors,” Levine explains.

In-house manufacturing banshee, directed by production manager Jon Keeyes and starring Antonio Banderas, recently completed. Yale’s slate includes science fiction Stowaway with Toni Collette and Anna Kendrick; Crime Drama 2020 Becky with Kevin James; and the horror Separation directed by William Brent Bell (The Demon Within), which debuted last year via Open Road Films.

The idea of ​​Great Escape had been bubbling for a while. Every Yale movie was sold through a hand-picked sales agent, and the partners realized it was time for a change. “We wanted to look at ways to be more efficient,” says Beckerman. “It will be much better for our investors to keep it in-house.”

Great Escape President Donnermeyer said that in the future he will offer attractive pre-sales and finished films, seeking to create opportunities for independent international distributors and work with buyers around the world. “There are distributors who need content right now, that’s just what it’s all about,” he notes. “Good action thrillers and [genre titles] will be pre-sold and the completed films are more festival type content. Even that can be a dice game, because when you see the best movies from Sundance, they’re immediately picked up by Apple or Searchlight for the world, which limits the opportunities there.

Beckerman says that while high genre films are a big part of what Yale does, there’s another side to their strategy. “We also partner with multifaceted actors who want to direct and produce,” he says. “We try to find projects that the bigger studios wouldn’t necessarily do but that we really like. September 17 is one of those movies.

Another example is Lafayette Pictures, a joint venture with Katie Holmes that emerged as they made two films together in 2021 that Holmes directed – alone together and Rare Items. Yale supports the slate and collaborators grow The Watergate Girla television project that indicates another area of ​​desired expansion.

On the film side, Yale supports theatrical releases where appropriate. “We still love traditional theater,” says Levine. In the meantime, there are also digital options. Would they consider internal distribution? Maybe one day. “It’s a very interesting time,” he said.

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