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Following its well-received world premiere at Sundance (in case you missed it, read Heather Wixson's review) and in honor of Alien Day, Screen Media and Legion M have acquired North American distribution rights to Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien, with a theatrical release planned for this summer.

Press Release: New York, NY – April 26, 2019– Screen Media and Legion M announced today the acquisition of all North American rights to Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary feature film Memory: The Origins of Alien. The film premiered to rave reviews in the Midnight Section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, CPH: DOX, Hot Docs and many others.  Screen Media and Legion M plan to release the film in theaters this summer, timed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of Alien.  The deal comes on the heels of Screen Media’s recent acquisition of Corporate Animals, which also premiered in the Midnight Section of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.  Paris-based Indie Sales is handling sales for the rest of the world.

Memory:  The Origins of Alien unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott's cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of Alien creators Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger - including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and O’Bannon’s original 29 page script from 1971, titled Memory. The documentary also takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of Alien and dedicates focus on the film’s iconic “Chestburster” scene.

Leveraging the “wisdom of the crowd,” Memory: The Origins of Alien was one of the highest rated Sundance films on Legion M’s innovative SCOUT platform, where fans in Park City and around the world had the opportunity to become film scouts by rating and evaluating information on nearly 120 films premiering at the festival. The Legion M Scout community provided data that directly influenced the companies’ decision to acquire the documentary.

The film is an Exhibit A Pictures production, produced by Kerry Deignan Roy; and co-produced by Annick Mahnert of Screen Division, Chad Herschberger of Milkhaus, and Robert Muratore of Exhibit A Pictures. Diane O’Bannon, Carmen Giger and Leslie Barany served as executive producers.

Memory: The Origins of Alien marks the fifth feature doc from Philippe, Roy and Muratore’s Exhibit A Pictures, including 78/52, a film about Hitchcock’s Psychoshower scene, Doc of the Dead, The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus and The People Vs. George Lucas. They are currently working on a film about The Exorcist with William Friedkin.

“With Screen Media’s distribution savvy, and Legion M’s profound understanding of, and access to the fans, our film couldn’t be in better hands,” says director Alexandre O. Philippe. “I’m confident that Memory, our fitting follow-up to 78/52, will resonate well beyond Alien fandom, as a deeper, darker, richer contemplation on the magic and mystery of cinema.”

“Our team is thrilled about this partnership,” said producer Kerry Deignan Roy. “Screen Media and Legion M have sensational plans we can’t wait to see come to life!”

Alien – specifically the demise of John Hurt’s chest – is seminal moment in cinema – one where you remember exactly where you were when you first saw it,” said Seth Needle, SVP of Worldwide Acquisitions at Screen Media. “Alexandre and Kerry have done an incredible job creating the buzz from that film withMemory: The Origins of Alien, and we know hardcore fans of the series and mainstream audiences alike will love watching this.”

“While most acquisition decisions are made by a small group of executives, Legion M called on the power of our community to help us decide which Sundance film was worth acquiring,” said Paul Scanlan, Co-Founder and CEO of Legion M. “Through first-time use of our proprietary SCOUT platform, we discovered that our Film Scouts were as overwhelmingly supportive of Memory: The Origins of Alien as our executive team, making it an incredibly easy decision to get behind this amazing documentary.”

Seth Needle, SVP, Worldwide Acquisitions at Screen Media and Paul Scanlan, Co-Founder and CEO, and Terri Lubaroff, COO and Head of Content, at Legion M negotiated the deal with Raphael Aknin, VP of Legal, and Nicolas Eschbach, CEO, at Indie Sales on behalf of the filmmakers.

The acquisition marks the first film title in the new partnership launched between Screen Media and Legion M.   In December 2018 the two companies announced a strategic alliance to source, develop and produce community driven original content. Through that partnership, they also plan to combine their unique strengths in the film industry to launch theatrical releases.  Screen Media recently released Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce and Paul Weitz’ Bel Canto starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.Legion M recently supported Panos Cosmatos’ Mandystarring Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough and Dean Devlin’s Bad Samaritan starring David Tenant and Kerry Condon. Legion M is also a financier on Kevin Smith’s upcoming feature film Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

Alexandre O. Philippe continues to be managed by George Heller at Brillstein Entertainment. Philippe and Exhibit A Pictures are represented by Matthew Baskharoon and Nir Caspi at WME.

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About Screen Media Ventures, LLC

Screen Media Ventures, LLC, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) company, acquires the rights to high quality, independent television series and feature films for the US and Canada. With a library of over 1,500 television series and motion pictures, Screen Media Ventures is one of the largest independent suppliers of high-quality tv series and motion pictures to U.S. and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and new media venues. For more information, visit:www.screenmedia.net

About Legion M

Legion M is the world's first fan-owned entertainment company that is revolutionizing the way entertainment is made in Hollywood by uniting a growing fan community of 75,000+ members, including more than 15,000 fan-owners. Through its Fan-Owned business model, Legion M invests in a diverse slate of original projects in various stages of development, including the feature film and comic book Girl With No Name;multiple original television series including EvermorAirship Cowboys, and Malice; as well as interactive and VR-based projects, including ICONS: Face to Face starring Stan Lee and Kevin Smith. Legion M also invests in partner productions, including the upcoming Kevin Smith feature film Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, as well as the critically acclaimed Colossal, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, the cult hit Mandy starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Panos Cosmatos, and Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and directed and produced by Dean Devlin.  Legion M and its fan community has produced high-profile events honoring some of the industry's biggest names, including the Stan Lee hand and footprint ceremony at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre in 2017.  To learn more about Legion M and become a member of the Legion for free, visit www.legionm.com.

Derek Anderson
About the Author - Derek Anderson

Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.

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