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WV shot film, 'Angel's Perch' gets worldwide distribution deal

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 08:17 AM

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to the West Virginia drama Angel’s Perch, an independent film shot in Pocahontas County last year.  The film will be released on cable Video-On-Demand providers serving over 100 million homes, and on internet platforms such as iTunes and Amazon December 1.  The film will also be available on DVD and Blu-ray on the filmmakers’ website and at some local WV retail locations.

 The inspiration for Angel’s Perch came from writer J.T. Arbogast’s own roots in West Virginia and his family’s experiences with Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects over 5.4 million Americans.  “Angel’s Perch was by far one of the most moving films I’ve seen depicting Alzheimer’s and the struggles that exist for both those diagnosed and the families who love them,” says Susan Galeas, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Southland Chapter .  The film was produced with the support of the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, who helped the filmmakers apply for grants, accept donations, and spread the word. 

 In many ways, producers Kimberly Dilts and J.T. Arbogast typify the new crop of independent filmmakers who embrace community involvement from the start; funded by a combination of grants and donations, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and in-kind support from local businesses like the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and the Pocahontas County CVB to name a few, Angel’s Perch has no investors other than the filmmakers themselves.  “The staff at Cass Scenic Railroad and the local residents really made this film happen,” says Arbogast.  “We never could have done it without the support, love and hours of volunteering that they poured into it.  This is as much their movie as it is ours.” 

The filmmakers also credit the WV Film Office with helping the film to succeed.  “Pam Haynes and Jamie Cope offered us critical support in securing locations, crew, and most importantly, the WV film tax incentive,” says Dilts.  “The incentive we received for shooting in WV is what allowed us to distribute our film--we would have been sunk without it!”

To distribute their film, the filmmakers also took to a new method of screening the film: a crowdsourced theatrical campaign, all built on word of mouth.   “We knew this was our only shot at a theatrical release, and with Tugg.com, we knew we had found the tools,” says Arbogast.   After premiering at Charleston’s FestivALL in June, the filmmakers toured nationally with the film, playing in a combination of independent and mainstream theatre chains like AMC, Carmike, and Cinemark.  "The Angel's Perch team exemplifies the industrywide shift toward collaborative, community-centric filmmaking, and we're thrilled that Tugg could play an important role in helping them reach their audience theatrically,” says Nicolas Gonda, Tugg co-founder and CEO.

Joyce Van Patten (The Danny Kaye Show, Bad News Bears, Grownups), Ally Walker (Sons Of Anarchy, The Profiler), Ashley Jones (True Blood, The Bold and the Beautiful), Ellen Crawford (ER), and J.T. Arbogast (When in Rome, 30 Rock), star in this touching story about a young man who must return to his small West Virginia hometown to face his grandmother's worsening Alzheimer's disease, only to discover that his own painful memories are holding him back in his life.  The film also stars local WV actors and features a bluegrass/old-timey soundtrack composed by Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers.    

The film is available via most cable providers and online December 1; details on the specific providers and DVD/Blu-ray availability can be found on the film's official website, http://angelsperch.com.   "Angel's Perch is an excellent example of independent filmmakers really finding a devoted and engaged following for their film.   It's a poignant story about family bonds in the face of hardship, and we are delighted to be bringing the film out to reach an even wider audience, "says Nolan Gallagher, founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures.