SOURCE: Empire Film Group, Inc.

March 14, 2008 06:00 ET

Empire Film Group Closes Major Acquisition for All North American Rights to "Hounddog" Starring Dakota Fanning, David Morse and Robin Wright-Penn

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2008) - Empire Film Group, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: EFGU) ("Empire Film") (http://www.empirefilmgroup.com) has acquired all North American distribution rights to the highly anticipated and controversial independent film, "Hounddog" starring Dakota Fanning, Robin Wright-Penn, Piper Laurie and David Morse. Empire has initiated a marketing campaign to release the film to more than 500 theaters on July 18, and anticipates box office revenues of more than $15 million.

"We believe that 'Hounddog' will be one of the top, independent films at theaters this summer," said Dean Hamilton-Bornstein, CEO of Empire Film Group. "It is a powerful, coming-of-age drama that deals with serious issues that should resonate with audiences. Dakota Fanning delivers an Oscar-worthy performance and we expect to see a lot of media attention."

"Hounddog" generated tremendous media interest when a promo reel was shown at the Sundance Film Festival last year. The character played by 12-year-old Dakota Fanning is sexually assaulted in a scene that enraged conservative media pundits, even though the attack is implied and not actually shown.

"I think we all wish that no children were ever assaulted," said Deborah Kampmeier, writer and director of the film. "But it's not helpful to the victims for our society to ignore the subject and pretend that it's not real. 'Hounddog' takes this dark moment through an emotional recovery brought about through friends, family and music, to a message of hope."

Dakota Fanning is the most successful young actress in the motion picture industry. She has starred in over a dozen major hits including "War of the Worlds," "Charlotte's Web" and "Man on Fire" with her last six theatrical films averaging over $46 million in USA box office gross. David Morse has starred in over 35 major films, with recent hits such as "Disturbia" and "16 Blocks." Morse is currently starring as George Washington in the $100 million-dollar-budgeted HBO miniseries "John Adams." Robin Wright-Penn has starred in over 30 major films, ranging from her Golden Globe nominated role as "Jenny" in "Forrest Gump," to the recent hit "Beowolf."

"Hounddog" features original music tracks and performances by Elvis Presley, including the title song. The film was produced by Scott Franklin, Jen Gatien, Terry Leonard, Lawrence Robbins and Deborah Kampmeier for Motion Picture Group, Deerjen Productions and Full Moon Films. Executive Producers include Stacey Bakula, Rebecca Cleary, Sam Froelich, Heidi M. Kessler and Robin Wright-Penn. Director of Photography was Jim Denault, ASC. The 93 minute film is expected to receive a PG-13 rating. The film's release campaign will be designed and implemented by Eric Parkinson for Empire Film Group, Inc., utilizing Empire's internal distribution and marketing staff as well as key outside service providers.

Statement of support from Lynn Parrish, spokesperson for RAINN (Rape And Incest National Network):

"As the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization, RAINN is proud to support 'Hounddog.' Although not a topic frequently broached in entertainment media, rape happens everyday. In fact, every 2.5 minutes, another American is sexually assaulted. And assaults on minors make up nearly half of these cases. All too often, victims of rape -- especially those under 18 -- suffer in silence, without access to the support they need. RAINN applauds 'Hounddog' and Dakota Fanning for shedding light on the issue of sexual assault against our nation's children, a problem that should no longer be ignored. It is our hope that the national discussion created by the film will give a voice to young survivors everywhere, allowing them to come forward despite the hurdles they face."

About Empire Film Group, Inc.

Empire Film Group, Inc. ("EFG") is a new independent film finance, production, and distribution company led by a management team with over 25 years of experience in development, production, distribution, finance and marketing of feature films and television programming. Through its acquisition of Truman Press, Inc., d/b/a "Hannover House," Empire is now a fully integrated, independent studio with internally controlled distribution capabilities to reach theaters, video retailers and television outlets.

Learn more about Empire Film Group by visiting www.empirefilmgroup.com

Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Eric Parkinson
    CEO
    Empire Home Entertainment
    818-481-5277
    email: Email Contact