Vertical Entertainment Enters IFE Market With Horizon Distribution


James MacLean, Horizon Distribution. Image via Vertical / Horizon

Newcomer Horizon Distribution takes indie films to new heights in flight with Vertical Entertainment pact.

The holidays came early this year for Santa Monica-based startup, Horizon Distribution, in the form of a freshly minted, non-exclusive partnership with indie upstart, Vertical Entertainment.

Offering up a compelling mix of new releases for the January and February 2021 cycles, the infusion of content from Vertical sets Horizon up as one of the premier indie film purveyors on the in-flight entertainment (IFE) scene.

Featuring such titles as the Sundance smash Miss Juneteenth – which recently scored Gotham Independent Film Award nods for director Channing Godfrey Peoples and actress Nicole Baharie – and the sunny, romantic comedy Then Came You starring Kathie Lee Gifford and Craig Ferguson, the partnership also includes several high-profile documentaries. Robins Wish chronicles the last days of comedy legend Robin Williams and the much-buzzed about Totally Under Control from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney, takes an in-depth look at the US government’s response to the pandemic.

Upcoming titles include the action-comedy The Comeback Trail starring the Oscar-winning trio of Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, and the Jamie-Babbit-directed comedy The Stand-In starring Drew Barrymore and Emmy-winner Holland Taylor.

“We’re excited to be partnering with James and Horizon Distribution to bolster this new lane for our current slate of independent films.” – Peter Jarowey, Vertical Entertainment.

James MacLean, the former longtime VP of Acquisitions at Entertainment In Motion, will spearhead Horizon’s Sales and Acquisitions department.

“With the onset of the pandemic and the changing distribution landscape, we’re excited to be partnering with James and Horizon Distribution to bolster this new lane for our current slate of independent films that has opened up to fill in where studio releases once ruled,” said Peter Jarowey, partner, Vertical Entertainment.

Hoping to establish Horizon as the IFE market’s leading indie content provider, Maclean said that supplying an enticing mix of mainstream independent feature films and documentaries will be key moving forward.

“While it might appear counter-intuitive to launch an airline distribution company in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the team at Horizon recognizes the opportunity for a new, well-funded strategic partner and we are here to support and serve our customers with the finest product throughout these extraordinary times,”  MacLean said.