RLJE Films and UMC Acquire “RIDE”



Bella Thorne and Jessie T. Usher Thriller Set for Release in Theaters in Fall 2018

LOS ANGELES, July 16, 2018 –RLJE Films and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), brands of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), have acquired all North American rights to the upcoming Unified Pictures thriller Ride. The film stars Bella Thorne (“Famous in Love,” “Shake It Up”), Jessie T. Usher (Shaft, “Survivor’s Remorse”) and Will Brill (“The OA”).  RIDE marks the feature film debut of writer-director Jeremy Ungar. RLJE plans to release the film nationally in theaters, VOD and Digital HD this Fall.

“With its talented young cast and thrilling plotline, we know audiences are going to be drawn to Ride,” said Chief Acquisitions Officer Mark Ward for RLJE Films.  “The story is incredibly relevant to today’s culture.”

“In Ride, Jeremy created a quintessential millennial thriller wrought with tension and fueled by our darkest fears related to the cultural phenomenon of ride-sharing,” said Producer Keith Kjarval.  “We could not be any more pleased to join forces with RLJE, who continue to have their fingers on the pulse of genre fans everywhere.”

In Ride, when James (Usher), a rideshare driver, and his passenger, Jessica (Thorne), pick up the charismatic but manipulative Bruno (Brill), a night out in L.A. becomes a psychological war for survival.

Ride was produced by Unified’s Kjarval (The Layover, Rudderless), Tyler Jackson (What They Had) and Sefton Fincham (Drone), and was financed by the Fyzz Facility along with Unified Film Fund II. Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects) and Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Foreigner) executive produced, along with  David Grace (Dope), Mike Rowe (Drone) and Levi Sheck (Dragged Across Concrete) and Dean Buchanan (Drone).

Ward and Jess De Leo from RLJE negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.

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RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE co-produces and develops new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited.

For more information, please visit RLJEntertainment.com, Acorn.tv, and UMC.tv.

RLJE Films new and upcoming features include Terminal starring Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers and written & directed by Vaughn Stein; and the 2018 Sundance Film Festival hit Mandy from writer/director Panos Cosmatos and starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough and Linus Roache. RLJE Films’ past films include I Kill Giants starring Zoe Saldana, Pilgrimage starring Tom Holland, and writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 starring Vince Vaughn and Bone Tomahawk starring Kurt Russell. www.us.rljentertainment.com.


Created by Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Urban Movie Channel (UMC) is the first subscription streaming service created for African American and urban audiences in North America that features quality urban content and showcases original series, feature films, drama, comedy, documentariesand other exclusive content. UMC is available on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Comcast/Xfinity, Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick. At www.UMC.tv, UMC offers a free 7-day trial and thereafter is just $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Keep up with UMC on Facebook at Facebook.com/UrbanMovieChannel and on Twitter/Instagram @WatchUMC.


Unified Pictures is a Los Angeles-based production company that develops, finances and produces independent motion pictures including live-action and animated films. Founded in 2004 by Keith Kjarval and Kurt Rauer, Unified has produced over twenty films and has become a dynamic force in the motion picture industry.  Early films include David Lynch’s Inland Empire, Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done, David M. Rosenthal’s A Single Shot, Clark Gregg’s Trust Me, and George Tillman Jr.’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. Recent films included Gary Michael Schultz’s Vincent N Roxxy, and William H. Macy’s Rudderless.

After premiering in the Sundance International Film Festival earlier this year, Elizabeth Chomko’s What They Had starring two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank and Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon, Unified entered post-production on S. Craig Zahler’s crime thriller Dragged Across Concrete, starring Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. Now in production for Unified is The Ark and The Aardvark, a $55 million animated feature with voice cast including Miles Teller, Aubrey Plaza, Jenny Slate, Stephen Merchant, Rob Riggle, and Craig Robinson.


Based in London and Los Angeles, The Fyzz is a prolific production and financing company specializing in feature film content and international television drama series.

The company has invested more than $297m into over 224 feature films with an aggregate production spend in excess of $2bn. As well as co-financing such titles as Taylor Sheridan’s WIND RIVER and Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE, recent in-house productions include US box office smash hit 47 METERS DOWN, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT starring Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson and Jackie Chan’s THE FOREIGNER, which has notched up over $140m box office worldwide.

Upcoming projects financed and produced by The Fyzz include thriller THREE SECONDS starring Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Ana de Armas, Common and Clive Owen, DESTINATION WEDDING starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder and FINAL SCORE starring Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan.

Media Inquiries

Katrina Wan / (323) 240-9996 / katrina@katrinawanpr.com

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