Elizabeth Sheldon has launched a new film distribution and sales company called Juno Films, to partner with agents, producers and filmmakers to execute bespoke investment, sponsorship and distribution strategies in North America. Sheldon brings two decades of experience in film distribution and international sales, with a specialty in distribution to the educational and non-profit market, to her partners.
Juno Films’s focus is to curate select critically-acclaimed films for all rights releases in North America, including theatrical and festivals, educational, digital and broadcast. The distribution model’s strategy brings together specific films with organizations or individuals to financially support the film’s release in addition to community outreach that will result in greater audience engagement for any film.
Juno’s initial acquisitions that it will launch with are 2 films previously covered on this site that have been without Stateside distribution:
The Train of Salt and Sugar
-- Train of Salt and Sugar by Licinio Azevedo, financially supported by Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) with a national theatrical release set for early 2018.
The latest film by celebrated Brazilian-born, Mozambican director Licínio Azevedo, Train of Salt and Sugar is set in civil-war-torn northern Mozambique during the late 80’s, and was hailed by critics as the "first great African Western” after it premiered in August 2016 on the 300-square metre screen at the Locarno Film Festival at the Piazza Grande in Switzerland, to a crowd of more than 7000 people. The film won the Independent Italian Critics Award (Boccalini d’Ouro) there for Best Film and also walked away with the Best Film trophy at the Joburg Film Festival.
-- Juno has also acquired the North American rights to the Swiss and German award-winning documentary Cahier Africain by Heidi Specogna.
Filmed over seven years, the filmmaker captures the testimonies of 300 Central African women, girls and men revealing what Congolese mercenaries did to them in the wake of the last armed conflict in 2008. The film was awarded the German National Film Award (Lola) for Best Documentary and the Swiss National Film Award for Best Documentary.
Juno will offer the film for festivals and a limited theatrical campaign, as well as to the educational market via Juno’s educational portal Cinedu.com with Public Performance Rights and EVOD beginning in September, 2017 followed by a consumer digital release in early 2018.
Both films were licensed from RushLake Media, with whom Juno is looking to co-acquire world-wide rights for select films.
Philipp Hoffmann, Founder and Managing Director of Rushlake Media: “I’m glad to kick-off a long-term cooperation with Juno Films, by bringing two outstanding titles from our current line-up to North American markets. Elizabeth and I share the share the same passion for arthouse films, particularly from the African continent, and the potential a changing distribution landscape can offer for quality cinema.”
Prior to launching Juno, Elizabeth Sheldon was Chief Operations Officer of BOND/360 where she oversaw the release of other films also covered on this blog including Strike a Pose. Prior she was the Senior Vice President at Kino Lorber, Inc, a leading North American independent distributor of critically acclaimed films, many we've written about.
Find trailers for both Juno film acquisitions below: