By MCN Editor


Estevez and Elixir Films Partner with Producers Distribution Agency and ARC Entertainment on Release; Film Will Launch in AMC Theatres As Part of Strategic Marketing Partnership With The Theatre Chain

New York – July 28, 2011 –  Emilio Estevez and Elixir Films’ David Alexanian announced today that they have partnered with John Sloss and Bart Walker’s Producers Distribution Agency (PDA) and Trevor Drinkwater’s ARC Entertainment to release THE WAY, written and directed by Estevez and starring Martin Sheen, on Friday, October 7.   The film which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival where it played to standing ovations and critical acclaim, was produced by David Alexanian and partly based on the Jack Hitt book,  Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain. It was filmed in Spain and France along the famed Camino de Santiago.

The film will open in 15 markets in the first week exclusively in AMC Theatres as part of a strategic marketing alliance with the theatre chain.  It will expand to another 15 markets on October 14 and then will expand to 500 screens in theatres across the country on October 21.  Elixir, PDA and ARC have assembled a strong team of experienced film veterans to release the film including Dennis Rice, Richard Abramowitz, Cynthia Swartz of 42West, Marc Schiller of Electric Artists, Tierney Kelly, Terry Hines and for digital distribution, FilmBuff.  The film’s release will be supported by an aggressive marketing plan that includes advertising, publicity, and promotion, in addition to an extensive grassroots effort directed at bringing the movie and its stars to the heartland of America.

Supplementing the efforts of the core team will be a number of marketing specialists who will help the core group implement the film’s unique and wide-ranging grassroots strategy. Jonathan Bock and his Grace Hill Media team will handle the faith-based audience, Maximus will outreach to the Catholic community, 360 Degree Communications will take on the body/mind/spirit world, H & M Communications will tap the Hispanic market and Kelly Seehausen of Big Picture is arranging sponsorships.

Integral to THE WAY’s marketing strategy will be a North American bus tour that Estevez and Sheen will take in the eight weeks prior to the film’s wide October release.  The tour will kick off in late August and will see Estevez and Sheen not only doing the traditional media appearances but also bringing the film directly to all of its core constituencies via screenings and special appearances.

PDA’s John Sloss comments, “THE WAY is the kind of film that does not come around often.  It is an extremely moving film that is also wholly entertaining.   It elicits a strong emotional response from people of all faiths and from people who just appreciate the experience of being uplifted and inspired by a motion picture.   I am proud to have worked with Emilio, David and Trevor to assemble a terrific team who will give this film the innovative and aggressive release it deserves.   For a concept like PDA to work as effectively as we have on “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and hope to on “Senna,” you need a film that resonates powerfully across wide and varied audiences.  In Emilio’s film, we feel we have just that.”

“I applaud Emilio and David for seeking out an independent distribution system which will leverage the assembled resources throughout the film’s life cycle and across revenue streams to maximize its commercial value,” commented Drinkwater “I am honored to be a part of this endeavor.”

Estevez notes: “THE WAY is a very special film that Martin and I are extremely proud, passionate and protective of.  We are thrilled to be so soundly supported by this equally passionate team of talented individuals and companies who share a rare and profound understanding of the picture as well as the spirit of how David and I put the project together.”

Adds Alexanian:  “Emilio and I met with a number of enthusiastic distributors following
the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.  John Sloss and Trevor Drinkwater differentiated themselves by clarifying their commitment to giving our independently spirited and independently financed film a proper mainstream commercial release.  We are sincerely
looking forward to working with PDA/ARC and making this unique partnership mutually beneficial and are very appreciative of the support we are getting from AMC.”

“We are proud to be the first leg of getting THE WAY onto movie screens around the country,” said Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Vice President of Specialty and Alternative Content, AMC Theatres.   “The film’s independent spirit and immense appeal to many different audiences make it a perfect fit for AMC.”

THE WAY is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James.  Rather than return home, Tom decides embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn’t plan on, is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his “California Bubble Life”.

Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. On “The Way,” Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own “issues” and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who is suffering from a bout of “writer’s block.”

From the unexpected and oftentimes, amusing experiences along “The Way,” this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom’s unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between “the life we live and the life we choose.”

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John Sloss and Bart Walker co-founded Producers Distribution Agency in 2010 to offer an alternative theatrical distribution model for unique films in a constantly changing marketplace.

PDA’s initial distribution effort, the Banksy street-art documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” was both a commercial and critical success.  After a five-month nationwide theatrical rollout, the film became one of the top 40 grossing documentaries of all time.  It was subsequently nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, numerous other awards, including a BAFTA, and named to myriad critics’ top ten lists.

PDA is currently working on the US distribution of the documentary “Senna,” based on the life of the Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna.  The film, winner of the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, is scheduled for a summer 2011 US theatrical release.


ARC Entertainment ( is a “solutions based” distribution company. ARC Entertainment’s unparalleled relationships with national retailers, coupled with strong sales and marketing expertise, enables the Company to explore unique programs and business models for its content partners.

The Company develops creative and profitable retail marketing programs by connecting Intellectual Property and Content owners directly with retailers.  This enables ARC Entertainment to truly align content development, investment and distribution with the requirements of retailers and their customers.

ARC Entertainment monetizes Content in multiple revenue streams including: Theatrical Distribution, DVD, Blu-ray, Digital, Electronic Sell-through, Streaming, VOD, PPV, Pay and Free TV.

ABOUT Elixir Films

Elixir Films distinguishes itself as an innovative producer and financier of independent feature films and television. The company is committed to help meet the growing demand for smart, character-driven projects by forging and supporting lasting relationships with individuals of profound creative vision. Elixir and it’s founder David Alexanian are well known for having produced and directed Ewan McGregor’s motorcycle trips across the world in the acclaimed series Long Way Round and Long Way Down as well as producing the Disney classic Where The Red Fern Grows starring Dave Matthews and Dabney Coleman. Elixir is currently in post-production on Marley Africa Roadtrip, a six part documentary series which follows Ziggy Marley and his brothers as they travel to South Africa on the 30th anniversary of their father Bob Marley’s death and provides a intriguing look into a legendary musical family.

About AMC Theatres

AMC Entertainment Inc. delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 360 theatres with 5,128 screens across the United States and Canada. The company operates 24 of the 50 highest grossing theaters in the country, including the top three. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage and diverse content.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

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~ David Simon