Xlrator Media Acquires Worldwide Distribution Rights to Mario Van Peebles’ We The Party

Film Set for Theatrical Release April 6, 2012

LOS ANGELES (March XX, 2012) – XLrator Media, LLC has acquired all worldwide distribution rights to the cutting-edge youth culture comedy WE THE PARTY, written and directed by Mario Van Peebles (New Jack City). Van Peebles and XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon announced the acquisition today. The film will be released theatrically in top US urban markets on April 6, 2012 and will expand to additional markets on April 13, 2012.  

Set against the latest trends in music, dance and fashion, WE THE PARTY features an all-star cast including Van Peebles, Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Tiny Lister, Melvin Van Peebles, Mandela Van Peebles, Simone Battle, Moises Arias, Orlando Brown, Quincy Brown, and some of the music industry’s most exciting artists including Snoop Dogg, Y.G., The New Boyz, Rej3ctz and The Pink Dollaz. The musical artists appearing in WE THE PARTY have an enormous online video presence with over 200 million combined YouTube views. The Rej3ctz “Cat Daddy” video alone has garnered over 60 million views.

An MVP Filmz production, WE THE PARTY was produced by Van Peebles, Michael Cohen, Dwjuan F. Fox and Tal Vigderson.

“Mario Van Peebles created an American gangster classic 20 years ago with the iconic New Jack City. Now, in the spirit of seminal teen comedies such as Friday, House Party and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mario has redefined the genre for a new generation with WE THE PARTY,” said Gordon.  “As evidenced by the recent theatrical success of Project X, teen and millennial audiences will respond to a movie that is authentic, edgy, and marketed in a fashion allowing for discovery via the media they prefer to receive their information from. WE THE PARTY is the next movie this audience can call its own.”

As unique as the film itself is the way it is being released. WE THE PARTY embodies an innovative new distribution partnership between XLrator Media and the filmmakers to self-release the film nationally, much like his father Melvin Van Peebles did successfully before him on Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song 40 years ago.

“The team at XLrator really understood our film, its potential to tap an ethnically diverse youth audience, and how to reach them smartly and authentically,” said Van Peebles. “As the creator of the film, I am thrilled to be working directly with them on all aspects of the creative, marketing, publicity and promotional campaign. Employing urban radio, social media, community outreach, street teams, and grassroots marketing, we want our digitally native audience to discover the film on their own, rather than the blitzkrieg “push” marketing of most studio teen/young adult films.”


WE THE PARTY is a colorful, cutting-edge, multicultural comedy about a group of teenagers coming of age during America’s first black presidency.  “Teenagers are at the center of a seismic cultural shift,” says Van Peebles. “Their world is changing fast, from their music to their dancing, jerking, twerking, skateboarding, dating and facebooking. Thug life is old school now and, for some, smart is the new gangsta!”

Filmed on location in one of Los Angeles’ tougher areas, the fictional “Baldwin Hills High School” comprises a broad cross-section of teens from different races and backgrounds – from gang-bangers sagging, to the skinny jeans and skateboard swag crowd, to the upper-class entitlement kids of Baldwin Hills.

The movie chronicles the adventures of five tightly-knit friends as they plot to up their game, lose their virginity, out-maneuver the school bully, and take the girls of their dreams to prom. Tensions mount when it’s suspected one of the students stole the prom money. With prom about to be cancelled and police on the scene, the students turn on each other…only to learn things are seldom what they appear.

“WE THE PARTY is the real deal, not necessarily how adults want us to be but how we are,” says 16-year-old Moises Arias of “Hannah Montana” fame.

“Mario’s kids were fans of our music,” says the New Boyz. “He wanted to make a legit movie about today’s teenagers with all the new music style and swag, and he put us in the film.”

“It’s not the car you drive or the clothes you wear, the real party is inside. WE The Party,” says Melvin Van Peebles who does a cameo in his son’s film.

“It’s been almost 20 years since we’ve had a good House Party or Breakfast Club,” says Michael Cohen, Van Peebles’ producing partner. “WE THE PARTY is going to surprise a lot of people.”

“I have not felt this kind of intense street energy behind a film since New Jack City. I wouldn’t have known what today’s teenagers are experiencing if I didn’t have teens myself,” says Van Peebles.

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

Camelia Adibi / (310) 968-5735 / cadibi911@gmail.com

About XLrator Media, LLC

XLrator Media, LLC is a multi-platform releasing company founded by industry veteran Barry Gordon. It is focused on acquiring feature films, event programming and libraries, in addition to producing programming for enthusiast genres and categories that are  under-served by the major studios and most independents. Recent XLrator Media releases include Ironclad, John Carpenter’s The Ward, Bunraku, Killing Bono and the Sundance documentary Knuckle. Upcoming releases include Mario Van Peebles’ We The Party and 96 Minutes, both opening in theaters April 2012.   

About MVP Filmz
MVP Filmz’ founder Mario Van Peebles believes there are three loves in your life: Love what you do, love who you do it with and love what you say with it. With his new coming of age film, WE THE PARTY, he gets to do all three.  In addition to directing and acting in features, Van Peebles is passionate about supporting education and eco-consciousness through media.  With his reality show “Mario’s Green House,” Mario got to team up with his kids and his filmmaker father Melvin Van Peebles. The show chronicled the Van Peebles family’s often-humorous attempts to raise their eco-consciousness as they try to go green in Hollywood.  “We never got to the full green, more like Olive green,” jokes Van Peebles.

With Bring Your “A” Game, Van Peebles encourages young brothers to resist the pop culture of anti-intellectualism and educate themselves beyond conventional academics.  His documentary Fair Game? explores such topics as the prison industrial complex as a form of modern day slavery, and eco-apartheid.

A graduate of Columbia University with a B.A. in Economics and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University, Van Peebles worked for two years for New York’s Department of Environmental Protection before moving to Hollywood to act, write, and direct.

“It’s called ‘show business’ not ‘show arts.’ I needed the business savvy to turn what I love into a career,” says Van Peebles. After three years of saving and sleeping on a kitchen floor, Van Peebles got his first break acting in Heartbreak Ridge opposite Clint Eastwood. He took that money and funded his first short film. Soon after he was directing episodic TV including his own series for NBC produced by Stephen J. Cannell called Sonny Spoon. His theatrical directing debut was the urban gangster hit New Jack City, which became Warner Brothers’ most profitable movie of 1991. Van Peebles followed up with his multi-cultural western, Posse.

Van Peebles then directed and produced Panther, while his father wrote and produced it. Panther is the story of the Black Panther Party’s rise to power. The film became a political classic, earning both controversy and awards including the Locarno Film Festival’s Silver Leopard award.  

BAADASSSSS!, Van Peebles’ odyssey about the making of his father’s groundbreaking film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was one of Ebert and Roeper’s 10 best movies of the year for 2004.

Recently, Van Peebles directed and acted in All Things Fall Apart alongside 50 Cent and Ray Liotta.  He also directed Redemption Road, about two men on a spiritual journey with Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Skerritt.

Van Peebles received critical acclaim for his portrayal of political icon Malcolm X alongside Will Smith in Michael Mann’s Ali.  When not doing features, Van Peebles directs award winning shows like “Damages,” “Lost” and “Boss.”