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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended January 26, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Jan01

By Excel Entertainment Press Release

Excel Entertainment Group, Inc. Officially Expands to Include Motion Picture Distribution

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Excel Entertainment Group, Inc. has announced the official creation of Excel Motion Picture Distribution, a division of Excel Entertainment Group, Inc. Dean Hale, former head of Excel Distribution, will now become head of Excel Motion Picture Distribution.

Excel Distribution began it's venture into theatrical distribution back in March 2000 when it took over distribution of the independent film God's Army from writer/director/producer Richard Dutcher. Dean Hale, then head of Excel Distribution, oversaw the theatrical release of that film into over 200 cities nationwide. The dramatic film about Mormon missionaries that the L.A Times called "a sensitive and thoughtful probe into issues of faith" grossed $2.6 million at the box office and went on to ship 130,000 units in it's first six weeks on VHS and DVD.

With the upcoming spring 2001 release of Dutcher's next film, a dramatic murder mystery called Brigham City, Excel Distribution has divided into two separate entities. Excel Motion Picture Distribution will coordinate the national and international theatrical release of independent film, starting with Brigham City, while Excel Retail Distribution will continue to be a leading distributor of music and other entertainment to the intermountain West.

Jeff Simpson, president of Excel Entertainment Group, Inc. is pleased with the changes. "Our vision as a company has always been to become a complete entertainment company, providing music, film, all types of entertainment media that is reflective of Mormon or LDS culture. With this expansion, we are better able to focus on all aspects of our business, both in film and in music."

Excel Entertainment Group, Inc. now consists of six sister divisions-Highway Records (producing contemporary faith-centered recordings), Joyspring Records (instrumental recordings), Embryo Records (inspirational recordings), Little Stream Records (children's recordings), Excel Motion Picture Distribution and Excel Retail Distribution. Excel Retail Distribution distributes music and video from its sister divisions, independent artists (Peter Breinholt, Kurt Bestor) and national artists (Amy Grant, Jars of Clay).

"We feel that God's Army was not only a major step forward in terms of LDS film, but a huge step forward for all types of LDS and faith-centered entertainment media," Simpson continues. "That movie let people know that high-quality faith-centered entertainment really exists. That's something that we have been trying to tell people for years, and now the message is getting through."


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