While there was no formal specifics offered on projects, the announcement noted that several titles were in development.
In the latest attempt to become a Hollywood player, digital media company Buzzfeed will partner with Lionsgate on a slate of narrative feature films.
The slate of full-length feature films, which were described as "socially relevant and high-concept" that would attract millennials and Gen Z, will be produced with BuzzFeed for primarily distribution strategies.
While there was no formal specifics offered on projects, the announcement noted that several titles were in development, with Lionsgate and BuzzFeed planning to launch their first co-production in 2021. The films will be based on original BuzzFeed IP, as well as projects designed to tap into BuzzFeed’s established readership.
Jason Moring and Michael Philip of production company CR8IV DNA will act as consultants on the slate of features.
Said Lauren Bixby, Lionsgate vp acquisitions and co-productions. “With our innovative marketing strategy and agile distribution teams, combined with BuzzFeed’s impressive and extensive global reach, the partnership will allow two entrepreneurial companies to work together to develop some great IP.”
“This exciting partnership with Lionsgate marks a new chapter for BuzzFeed and our studio endeavors,” said Richard Alan Reid, svp of global content and film at BuzzFeed. "We are expanding our strategy to include long-form content, with a slate that celebrates identity, diversity and youth culture, and concepts that highlight themes and characters not typically at the center of pop movies."
Buzzfeed has long-aspired to be a producer of film and television, with CEO Jonah Peretti first announcing plans to break into entertainment in 2014 with the launch of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures (later renamed BuzzFeed Studios).
Peretti told THR back in 2019 that Buzzfeed Studios' focus would be on new formats, saying, "I think you're going to see a whole explosion of new formats and new models in programming that will go beyond just taking traditional TV and sticking it on the internet."
At the time, the co-founder and CEO also noted that they would not abandon their hopes to develop projects for more traditional avenues, adding that they would likely be bringing in an established Hollywood partner to assist. It appears the Lionsgate deal is Buzzfeed doing exactly that.
Article By: Mia Galuppo for the Hollywood Reporter.