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Gravitas & Variance Rescue 'American: The Bill Hicks Story'

Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas' award-winning documentary is narrated by the 10 people who knew the late Texan comic the best

Gravitas Ventures and Variance Films are teaming for the theatrical day-and-date release of Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas' award-winning documentary “American: The Bill Hicks Story,” which will open simultaneously in theaters and on VOD on April 8 in New York City.

"American" will then expand into 25 theaters across the country throughout April and May, while simultaneously being available in over 100 million homes across North America through leading cable, satellite and online providers.

"American" is a photo-animated documentary featuring stand-up footage that is narrated by the 10 people who best knew the late Texan comic, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32.

The film delves into Hicks' precocious teenage years as well as his dark years of drug addiction and subsequent recovery.

“I was drawn to work on American: The Bill Hicks after witnessing the film get a raucous standing ovation from hundreds of festival goers last year. We love to champion independent filmmaking and we are enthusiastic to collaborate with Variance films on a traditional theatrical release that is simultaneous with a VOD offering” said Gravitas Ventures' Founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher said in a statement. “This theatrical day and date distribution strategy allows the filmmakers to turn positive word of mouth and terrific reviews into immediate consumer interaction with the film and it’s just more opportunity for audiences to enjoy movies in the manner they prefer.”

“As a giant Bill Hicks fan, 'American: The Bill Hicks Story' was a no-brainer for Variance," said company founder Dylan Marchetti. "We wanted this film from the moment we saw it. But our Doing It With Others strategy doesn’t just apply to working with filmmakers, and working with Gravitas on this theatrical day and date release is a great example -- while Variance works to increase the value of the theatrical (and the film) with live comedy performances, special guests, and parties and events at theaters across the country, Gravitas is going to make sure that everyone who hears the good word and wishes to see the film has a chance to do so, no matter where they live. It’s really the best of both worlds, and we’re extremely excited about it.”