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Elizabeth Sheldon has launched a new film distribution and sales company, Juno Films

 
Licinio Azevedo’s Train of Salt and Sugar and Cahier Africain Are Lead Acquisitions
 

Elizabeth Sheldon has launched a new film distribution and sales company, 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.
 
One of Juno’s initial acquisitions, Train of Salt and Sugar by Licinio Azevedo, will be financially supported by Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) with a national theatrical release in early 2018. The film, which won the Independent Italian Critic’s Prize at Locarno in 2016 and the Best Film trophy at the Joburg Film Festival, is based on historical events during the civil war in Mozambique on the rail line connecting the northern cities of Nampula and Cuamba. Henry Posner III, chairman of RDC, says, “As the former operator of this railway, which served as the region’s lifeline during the civil war, we see supporting the film as a way of honoring its historic legacy. This builds on our initial support of publication of the English language version of the screenplay as a book in 2007.”
 
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.”
 
About Elizabeth Sheldon
Elizabeth Sheldon is the founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films. She implements a collaborative approach with feature and  documentary filmmakers and producers to secure funding and develop and execute bespoke all-rights releases.

Prior to launching Juno, Elizabeth was Chief Operations Officer of BOND/360 where she oversaw the release of The Settlers, Strike a Pose, Karl Marx City and The War Show. Prior she was the Senior Vice President at Kino Lorber, Inc, a leading North American independent distributor of critically acclaimed films such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Jafar Panahi's Taxi, 5 Broken Cameras and A Touch of Sin
While Vice President at Lorber HT Digital she launched the Alive Mind Cinema label. The early stage of her career was built in the educational market, where she oversaw acquisitions and business development for two of the leading North America educational distributors. She has been recognized as one of the '50 Most Powerful People' in the documentary world by POV, is the recipient of three NEH Grants for film development and is a frequent industry panelist and guest speaker.
About Rushlake Media
 
Rushlake Media is a digitally oriented sales and distribution company and has been developing its international sales arm with a strong focus on African films and the African market.
 
Founded in 2014, Hoffmann's Rushlake Media licenses content for the VOD market via the major digital platforms, develops custom digital distribution plans, and provides VOD consulting services both technical and strategic.

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Chatelin Bruno
(M21 Entertainment - filmfestivals.com)

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