Whenever we talk about filmmaking partnerships, it’s usually on the large scale, as when Legendary Entertainment split with Warner Bros. and teamed up with NBCUniversal. But in this case, we’re going more small scale with big intentions. The rising indie force Drafthouse Films announced through their website that they have partnered up with distribution company Cinedigm to bring their films to all manners of home entertainment, including DVD, Blu-ray, all forms of VOD and digital services, as well as broadcast television. The release slate will begin in January of next year, and the first film they’re putting out there is E.L. Katz’s widely acclaimed directorial debut, the black comedy thriller Cheap Thrills, which will get a VOD release one month ahead of its February theatrical release. Hell to the yes! I was worried I’d have to wait for the DVD for this one.

Written by David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga, Cheap Thrills tells the story of two guys, Craig (Pat Healy) and Vince (Ethan Embry) who are low on cash and high on ambitions. David Koechner is a rich partier who puts the two men up to a series of increasingly sadistic challenges for large chunk of change. It also stars Sara Paxton and Amanda Fuller. It took home the Audience Award at SXSW this year, as well as the Jury Prize at the Fantasia Festival. And it’s not the only buzzed about film the two companies are partnering up on, as Drafthouse plan on releasing 10-12 films in 2014.

Though the release dates are pending, it’s confirmed they’ll also be releasing A Field in England, the trippy thriller from director Ben Wheatley (Kill List), as well as Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam’s Palme d’Or –nominated thriller Borgman and Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman’s sci-fi animation The Congress, adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Futurological Congress. Nothing quite as provocative as Drafthouse’s unsettling documentary The Act of Killing, but that’s a good thing.

Cinedigm, who recently released critical darling drama Short Term 12 with Brie Larson, is currently in Toronto looking for a few prestigious films to acquire. Company head Chris McGurk recently told Variety, “Our team is going to see seven or eight films a day. They’ll call me in if they feel we have to buy something.” They’ve just released Jill Soloway’s much-talked about Sundance comedy Afternoon Delight and will soon be releasing the Craig Zisk comedic drama The English Teacher. And while those are fine and dandy, I’m sure, bring on more quality thrillers! Check out the trailer for Cheap Thrills below.

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