Momentum Entertainment signs
cable, video deals for urban indie

Ta’sia Sherel and George Wilborn star in “Love Relations,” due for release on cable and video this fall.

In the last week of May, Momentum Entertainment signed two separate deals to release its feature film “Love Relations” on cable and video, culminating after a year of talks.

The Encore/Starz! cable network licensed “Love Relations” for a two-year period beginning this October, Momentum producer Phil Truskowski said.

Maverick Entertainment will release “Love Relations” this fall through Artisan Video. Maverick saw the picture at the 2001 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. Momentum had been in talks with Maverick since June 2002.

How did it happen that both deals went through simultaneously? “It was when I was satisfied with the contracts,” Truskowski said. “Maverick was the best company that had interest for video.” Encore/Starz! was the only cable outlet bidding on the film, he said.

“Love Relations” was shot on 35mm in Chicago over 18 days in May 2000. Truskowski raised the under-$300,000 budget along with co-director Delvin Molden and Ald. Ed Smith from private investors.

“‘Love Relations’ is about controversies and issues between black men and black women that I felt needed to be captured in story form,” said Molden, who wrote and directed with Michael Hoffman.

Momentum’s second film, “Quake,” is at picture lock and on its way to Cerny/American Creative for sound work. Molden directed “Quake,” a love story about a pimp, from a script he wrote with Clyde Tornes. The under-$50,000 HD film shot last October.

Molden intends to use the completed “Quake” to raise financing to re-shoot the picture on a bigger budget. Momentum will seek private financing for the reshoot rather than approaching a larger production company.

“It’s a story about pimps and ‘ho’s, and I want to have control to make sure it doesn’t become a blaxploitation film made by people who don’t understand the streets,” Molden said. “We have to make sure that the films we do are made by people who understand the subject matter.”

Molden is contracting as VP of production for Breakaway Films, a Miami-based production company that makes $250,000 to $1 million pictures and has a first-look deal with Lion’s Gate. He just wrapped shooting in Florida on “Carlita’s Secret,” a super 16mm picture starring Latin pop star Eva Longona. Molden co-wrote and produced for Breakaway.

In February Molden directed his third feature, also for Breakaway, a DV comedy in LA produced by Jamie Fox called “Out on Parole.” He’s in pre-production on Breakaway’s “H2 the Bahamas,” which starts shooting June 16.

“I just want to become a producer on a higher level,” Molden said. “I’ve got some offers from L.A. companies, but I don’t know if that’s the road I want to take. When you go to L.A. you lose your freedom and sit around waiting for jobs. I might want to stay independent for a little longer and build a stronger resume.”

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– by Ed M. Koziarski,