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‘Detroit’ marks milestone for Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison

‘Detroit’ is the first film both produced and distributed by Annapurna Pictures. Hollywood’s newest studio was founded in 2011 by Megan Ellison, only the fourth producer ever nominated for an Oscar twice for “Best Picture” in the same year.

Set against a backdrop of rioting in the city in 1967…

‘Detroit’ is the latest film from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigalow…

And focuses on the circumstances surrounding the death of three black men, and the beatings of nine others——following a police raid at a motel.

With a production budget of $35-million, ‘Detroit’ is the first film that’s been both produced and distributed by Annapurna Pictures.

Hollywood’s newest studio works out of a former art gallery and has a lobby decorated with thousands of VHS tapes arranged to form a giant “A.”

Annapurna Pictures describes itself as “a home for creators.”

In it’s mission statement, it says “we make films”, “and television”, “games”, “and interactive experiences.”

Founded by Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures is named after the Himalayan mountain range of Annapurna in Nepal which she once climbed.

Since it began life as a production company in 2011, Annapurna has distinguished itself by taking on edgier storylines, by well-respected filmmakers—rather than adopting the risk-adverse approach of most Hollywood studios.

To date that’s included Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ about a man who falls in love with his computer’s operating system…

David O’Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ about a con man who’s forced into working with the FBI to expose other criminals…

As well as Kathryn Bigalow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ which chronicles the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

And with ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Her’, Ellison became only the fourth producer ever nominated for an Oscar twice for ‘Best Picture’ in the same year——a list that includes revered veterans Scott Rudin and Francis Ford Coppola.

Megan Ellison is the daughter of billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

Between 2006 and 2010, she dropped out of film school and produced several unsuccessful low-budget movies.

Then when she was 25, she came into a sizeable fortune, which she used to start Annapurna Pictures which projects an image that’s retro, artistic and bespoke.

While box office results have been mixed for Annapurna’s films, which includes Paul Thomas Anderson’s financial flop ‘The Master’—’Zero Dark Thirty’ took 130-million-dollars worldwide, and ‘American Hustle’ 250-million.

At the end of 2016, Annapurna Pictures announced that it was getting into video-games.

Much like it’s movie enterprises, Annapurna Interactive isn’t following the status quo—instead, developing “personal, emotional and original games.”

So far this year, that’s included the release of ’What Remains of Edith Finch’, a collection of playable short stories focused on a cursed family, which plays out like an interactive film.

Annapurna Pictures latest release “Detroit,” marks the first time the studio distributes and markets a film itself.

And with “Detroit,” the studio is using a particularly risky movie to make that leap.

It’s opening near the end of a summer packed with big budget “event” films, also known in the industry as “tent-poles” including an adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower.’