Former Lionsgate executive and Chapter One Films founder Matt Kaplan is joining DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV as president of its new Awesomeness Films division.
Awesomeness Films plans to produce 12 to 15 features for theatrical and digital distribution, following the formula it established with its first movie, Expelled, starring Cameron Dallas (3.54 million subscribers on YouTube). Released digitally following a brief three-city theatrical run last December, it debuted at number one on the iTunes sales chart.
The division’s slate includes Shovel Buddies, a coming-of-age movie starring Kian Lawley and Bella Thorn (produced with Film 360); and Smosh: The Movie (produced with Defy Media), which will premiere on July 23 during VidCon 2015. Awesomeness Films also plans to produce multiple features for YouTube over the next 18 months, the first of which is pegged to bow in the fall.