“[a] left-field distribution house.”
– Wired Magazine
“Cinema Purgatorio has taken Christmas on Mars to places we never thought possible! And we dream big! Thanks for everything!”
– Scott Booker, Manager, The Flaming Lips
“Ray has the passion and understanding for film as an art form & the willingness and courage to break new ground – two thumbs up for Cinema Purgatorio.”
– Vladan Nikolic, director and producer, Zenith, Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School for Social Research
“Ray is a great, hard worker. He has helped us on a lot of movies, and it’s time for us to team up in public instead of him just slaving away in the dark.”
– Larry Fessenden, Producer and Director, Head of Glass Eye Pix Studio
In an ambiguous and changing media landscape, Cinema Purgatorio brings good films to good theaters, to disc, and to on demand.
For colleague filmmakers, and on retainer deals with other labels, we have set up and / or closed deals with some of the largest and many of the smallest film companies and institutions around the world, a few television stations, hundreds of libraries, and thousands of movie theaters and cinematheques in the United States and Canada, the national cinematheques of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Australia, Britain, Switzerland, Ireland, and Italy, and select locations in Afghanistan, Antarctica, Armenia, Bosnia, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam, and beyond, as well as tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals.
Projects have included:
- Inni, by Sigur Rós and director Vincent Morisset. 100+ city, 22+ country release, including World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival (Venice Days section), sell outs in London, Paris, New York, Montreal, Rome, Toronto, Helsinki, Minneapolis (U.S. premiere), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Trondheim, Tokyo, Taipei, Eindhoven . . .
- Christmas on Mars, by the Flaming Lips. 70+ city release across the U.S. and Canada, including three month run in a custom cinema constructed inside a former Socialist meeting hall in New York City
- Voltaic, by Bjork. 30+ city release across the U.S., including sold out, capacity crowd at the new School of Visual Arts Cinema in New York City. Exclusive poster release. Inaugural screening at the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis. Television rights sales to UK and Icelandic television stations
- R.E.M. THIS IS NOT A SHOW, directed by Vincent Moon and Jeremiah. 25 city U.S. release, as “This Is Not A Theatrical Release,” limited sneak preview screenings of R.E.M.’s un-concert documentary. Opening night, Sound Unseen Festival (Minneapolis).
- Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, set up worldwide rights sale; orchestrated U.S. theatrical release
- Zenith, released in 20+ cities, mass DVD and mass iTunes release, innovative online P2P release, viewed by over 1.2 million people (and counting)
- Daylight, released in 20+ cities, VOD release in 100 million homes and on iTunes and DVD
- The Afterlight, theatrical and DVD release
- Tony Manero (Chile, Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week) directed by Pablo Larrain, 30+ cities
- Theater of War (U.S., Tribeca Film Festival) starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, about Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, directed by John Walter, 20+ cities
- groundwork for theatrical releases of The Sun (Russia, Berlin Film Festival) directed by Alexander Sokurov; and Home (Switzerland, Cannes Critics’ Week) directed by Ursula Meier and starring Isabelle Huppert
- Daniel Kraus: The Work Series, long term consultant
- The Awkward Comedy Show, consulted on television sale to Comedy Central and DVD sale to New Video
… and many others.
Ray Privett established Cinema Purgatorio / RCP Media in 2007. For ten years, Privett has helped filmmakers, producers, and venue administrators execute shows and find unconventional ways of reaching today’s film audiences. For four years, he was distribution coordinator at Chicago’s Facets Multi-Media, as that company’s exclusive distribution line exploded from 6 to 60 titles per year. Then for four years he was Programmer, Co-General Manager, and Technical Director of New York City’s Pioneer Theater, during its most successful period. At the Pioneer, Privett found, booked, exhibited, and shipped over a thousand films, generating thousands of articles in press coverage, and spurring the DVD and television sales of countless movies. Among many others, he world premiered the first several films from Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix, participated in the discovery of Lech Majewski, Aaron Katz, and Michale Boganim, and cultivated extensive screening series of Ukrainian, Croatian, Latin American, and Jewish films, and also films made by Kenya Cagle, a contemporary heir of community-oriented African-American pioneer Oscar Micheaux. The Pioneer became an influential early venue to embrace internet culture as a constituent part of a democratic movie culture, rather than as an adversary or as a perq for the technologically and financially elite.
In March 2008, after successfully executing and paying for all shows he had booked there, Privett chose to leave the Pioneer, to develop Cinema Purgatorio / RCP Media and other performing arts projects. For now, he has declined offers to subsume Cinema Purgatorio’s operations into a number of much larger, legendary, well-respected film organizations, in order to retain the flexibility and authority required in today’s media world.