Opioid Drama, Originally Slated to Open in More Than Two Dozen Cities and at Three Festivals, Goes Day-And Date
SHOOTING HEROIN, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in America, will debut on all VOD and EST platforms on Friday, April 3. The film was originally set for an initial limited national release in two dozen cities and about 100 screens on Friday April 3, but quickly made the move to video on-demand and pay-per-view platforms following the shutdown of almost all movie theatres nationally during the COVID-19 crisis. The film had also been set to premiere at three film festivals in Northern New Jersey, Dallas and Los Angeles, all of which were cancelled.
All VOD and EST platforms and services will go live on April 3, including, on cable: InDemand and MSOs; Vubiquity; Verizon Fios; ATT U-Verse; DirecTV; Dish Network-IPVOD/EST; and Sling, and on transactional digital including: iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay; Microsoft X-Box; Vimeo; Sony PSN; Fandango; and Vudu.
Director and producer Spencer Folmar, himself a small theatre chain operator and distributor through his company Veritas Films, says, “Like every other filmmaker, we’ve hit a wall with theatrical distribution in these turbulent times, which puts our little indie film on the same footing as Disney as we work to find our audience. And of course that audience is the home viewing audience, hundreds of millions of people who are searching for education and issues-oriented entertainment. We consider ourselves lucky to have VOD distribution of SHOOTING HEROIN in place to offer the public, and hope the media pivots along with us to let the public know we’re out there.” Folmar hopes for theatrical exhibition of the film in the future, and in the meantime is looking at booking the film at some of America’s several hundred drive-in theatres still operating.
SHOOTING HEROIN tells the story of a small-town community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs “by any means necessary”—a story of a group of vigilante townsfolk who take justice into their own hands to fight for the heart of America, and save the next generation from overdosing and dying.
The film features Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Alan Powell (Quantico), Garry Pastore (HBO’s The Deuce), Nicholas Turturro (SVU), Cathy Moriarty (RAGING BULL), and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High), among others. Before being programmed in three March film festivals in California, Texas and New Jersey, the film most recently claimed the Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Pastore) prizes at the Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival in New York City last October. SHOOTING HEROIN is being distributed digitally on VOD by Stone Cutter Media.
The film is written and directed by Spencer T. Folmar (GENERATIONAL SINS). Since Folmar’s last film premiered nationally, he has pursued new ventures in distributing independent films, including WARNING SHOT, starring David Spade, Bruce Dern, and James Earl Jones, and creating a partnership with his own Veritas Theatres chain in major cities.
Folmar is undeterred by the current crisis, which he views as temporary, and is confident Americans will return to movie theatres when it has passed. His first movie theatre was in the Pittsburgh, PA region called the Guthrie Theatre (a 600 seat, single-screen historic theatre now featuring live entertainment, community theatre and a steakhouse in connection with the screening venue). He had also acquired two theatres in the Dallas region, and still hopes to purchase and build theatres in Orlando, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles later in 2020 into 2021. Folmar is building his own theatre chain to give transparency and integrity for indie filmmakers to enjoy their films on the big screen across the country—when it’s safe to do so. All of his theatres are currently shuttered.
Folmar concludes, “Even though it’s being eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid abuse remains a national public health crisis and claims over 100 American lives per day. With a strong cast and a compelling story ripped from daily headlines, we hope SHOOTING HEROIN will shed light on and give hope to those millions affected by it.”
All Cable, Satellite, Telco, and Digital TVOD and EST platforms and services will go live on April 3, including, on cable: InDemand and MSOs; Concast; Charter; Cox; Spectrum; Vubiquity; Verizon Fios; ATT U-Verse; DirecTV; Dish Network-IPVOD/EST; and Sling, and on transactional digital including: iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay; Microsoft X-Box; Vimeo; Sony PSN; Fandango; and Vudu.