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Smith's 'Collapse' Gets Simultaneous Theatrical, VOD Bows

Vitagraph, FilmBuff partner on unusual release plan for documentary.

FilmBuff and Vitagraph Films will partner on an unusual release plan for Chris Smith's timely documentary “Collapse,” just two months after it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Vitagraph will handle the film's theatrical release, while FilmBuff will launch the film simultaneously on video-on-demand.

On Nov. 6, the film will open at New York's Angelika Theater; it also will premiere that day via cable providers nationwide.

“Collapse” will open at Landmark theaters in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Diego on Dec. 4.

“Collapse” is a portrait of Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer turned independent writer-researcher. In his self-published newsletter, Ruppert went against the tide of Wall Street and Washington analysts and, more than four years ago, correctly predicted the current financial crisis.

Vitagraph distribution head David Shultz said the film is “part of the new frontier of documentaries that are extremely time-sensitive, and their strength of their impact on society is in the here and now.”

“The film had such great word of mouth at Toronto that we immediately began looking for ways to get the film to the biggest audience in the shortest amount of time possible,” Smith said in a statement. “After considering many options, it quickly became clear that working with David Shultz and John Sloss was the most innovative and exciting way to release this film.”

Sloss is founder of Cinetic Rights Management, which operates FilmBuff and negotiated the deal on Smith's behalf.

Smith's previous films include “American Movie,” “American Job” and “The Yes Men.” Vitagraph also handled the theatrical release of his 2008 movie “The Pool.”