Cusimano Launches New Film Company, Watch Entertainment
by Rania Richardson
John Cusimano, formerly of Arrow Entertainment, has launched WATCH Entertainment, a theatrical, home video/DVD, and television distribution and production company located in the Tribeca Film Center in downtown Manhattan. “We are financed and ready to go hunting for the next art house gem,” said Cusimano in a prepared statement. WATCH plans to release 8 to 10 films a year theatrically, with some additional films to be released straight to video/DVD.
Representatives from the company will attend the 2004 Sundance Film Festival as well as the other top acquisitions festivals and markets in the U.S. and abroad. “We will be viewing lots of films that might fall under the radar of the larger distributors, to find marketable fare. Besides covering screening circuits, we will be accepting direct submissions of completed work,” Cusimano told indieWIRE yesterday.
The company has already acquired the U.K. feature “Conspiracy of Silence” to be released theatrically this spring. It is a thriller about corruption and deceit in the Catholic Church in Ireland, written and directed by John Deery, and developed at the Sundance Film Labs. “Jackie Stewart: The Flying Scot,” directed by Mark Craig, has also been acquired for release directly to home video/DVD later this year. The documentary tells the life story of Formula 1 racing sensation Sir Jackie Stewart and was produced by his son, Mark Stewart. It features interviews with fellow Scot, Sean Connery. WATCH is currently in negotiation for several other titles and will be selectively involved in the production of film and television properties.
During his tenure as Business Affairs and Acquisitions Chief at Arrow, Cusimano acquired the Canadian hit, “Maelstrom” and the Jerry Stiller comedy, “The Independent” among others.
Cusimano has also launched LISTEN Records, a companion company to WATCH Entertainment that will distribute independent music.