February 8, 2023

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Cinedigm Acquires ‘Ealing Fire in Empty Theaters’ for Fander Streaming

2 min read

Cinedigm today announced the acquisition of North American rights to “Illing Fire in Empty Theaters,” the feature debut of writer-director Justin Zuckerman. Starting January 24, the film will be available to watch exclusively on Cinedigm’s official streaming platform Fandor.

“We’re thrilled to partner on the film with Fandor and Cinedigm, who are truly creating an incredible new home for independent film,” said Zuckerman. “When we made this film, we just set out to prove to ourselves that we could do something fun and interesting with what we already had. The support and encouragement from Funders and elsewhere means the world, and we’re excited for more people to see this project.”

Zuckerman shot the 73-minute feature with a mini-DV on a budget that cost less than the monthly rent of the apartment he filmed in. The film’s minimal production value, however, did little to hinder its positive reception.

“Having supported the early works of mumblecore OGs like Joe Swanberg and Kentucky Audley, it’s exciting to see a new generation react to those films with fresh eyes,” said Aaron Hillis, Cinedigm’s director of programming. “I personally love the vintage mini-DV aesthetic – and yes, that’s what this unusual and very funny film is supposed to look like.”

The lo-fi comedy premiered at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival, where Zuckerman received a nomination for Best Narrative Feature. Then, in September, the film won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the Tallahassee Film Festival.

“Illing Fire in Empty Theater” follows Lisa (Isadora Leyva), a recent college graduate, as she moves into a New York apartment with a couple who implicate her in their dysfunctional relationship. Liva stars alongside Michael Patrick Nicholson, Kelly Cooper, Austin Castle, Colin Burgess, Krista Jensen and Ryan Martin Brown.

In addition to acting, Brown produced “Illing Fire in an Empty Theater” with 5th Floor Pictures and negotiated Cinedigm’s acquisition of the film.

Watch the official trailer for the feature below.

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