Arts & Entertainment, Film, and Higher Education

Filmmaker signs distribution deal

February 21, 2017
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Alone in the Universe film movie poster
The film "Alone in the Universe" is a romantic comedy starring Dana Blackstone, left, and Joshua Courtade. Courtesy Compass College of Cinematic Arts

A film shot and produced in Grand Rapids is now available to global audiences.

Compass College of Cinematic Arts in downtown Grand Rapids said this month one of its film professors, Joshua Courtade, signed a distribution deal with Nandar Entertainment.

The school said the deal has led to Courtrade's film “Alone in the Universe” being available for streaming purchase or rental at Amazon Prime Video and Nadar's platform, as well as in DVD form at Nandar’s website

“Alone in the Universe” is a romantic comedy about a charismatic, commitment-phobic young woman, who meets a socially awkward web cartoonist, and the pair must “overcome deep personal wounds” to be together.

Written, produced and directed by Courtade, the film stars Courtade, Dana Blackstone, Kaitlyn Squires, Evan Koons, Robert William Ford, Jennifer Jelsema and Michael Gordon.

“This is a dream come true,” Courtade said of the distribution deal. “‘Alone in the Universe’ played at Celebration! Cinema Woodland in 2015 and in film festivals, but having a distributor is huge.

“The process has been stressful, terrifying and wonderful — sometimes all at once. I’ve licensed my projects non-exclusively to distributors, and I’ve done self-distribution through film festivals and Vimeo on Demand, but to have a film acquired exclusively (for distribution) is brand-new for me.”

Courtade credits family, friends and colleagues, as well as the film’s cast and crew for the film’s success. 

“No one works in a vacuum, and this is their success as much as it is mine,” Courtade said.

Compass College

Established in 1997, Compass College of Cinematic Arts is dedicated to teaching the art of film, acting and multi-media production.

Classes are set in a working studio environment, where students learn from both faculty and extensive on-set experiences. Students have the opportunity to build connections with Hollywood advisors, while learning digital production techniques for a growing industry. 

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