MAC Releasing Ignites Plans, Two Films Acquired as Two New Faces Join Upstart Distributor
by Eugene Hernandez
MAC Releasing, the new feature film distribution company launched by Craig Baumgarten, Andy Gruenberg, and Mike Marcus has announced a new partner in the company, as well as the company’s first two releases.
Andrew Fogelson, recently President of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and a consultant to MAC, has signed on as a partner in the venture. Also joining the company is Carl Hampe as head of acquisitions. Hampe previously handled North American, Australian, and Asian acquisitions for Miramax.
The new distributor will release its first two films this spring in New York. Michael Covert and Tracy Fraim’s “Dirt” will debut on April 25. It stars Michael Covert, Tracy Fraim, and Patrick Warburton. MAC will release Alfredo de Villa’s “Washington Heights” on May 9. It stars Tomas Milian, Manny Perez, and Andrea Navedo.
“We will be aggressive, but cautious,” Fogelson told indieWIRE on Friday. He indicated that while the financial markets are in a tender state right now, there is money available. MAC is a privately financed distribution company that intends to release 10-12 films per year, Fogelson said, but he indicated that they may not reach that target until next year. For now, he told indieWIRE, they will handle, “As many [films] as we can get that make sense.”
Also emerging will be MAC’s plans for what it calls “regional wide distribution.” Fogelson explained that the company plans to tackle regional releases of films that the Hollywood studios may decide not to release nationally. “These days regional releases are generally confined to failed movies and they are dumped releases,” Fogelson told indieWIRE. “We think we can find movies that have a real upside potential.”
Variety called “Dirt” a “zany and inspired item in the Coen brothers mold,” speculating that it could find a steady arthouse audience. “Washington Heights,” winner of the narrative audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, also screened at the Tribeca and Hamptons Film Festivals.