After the departure of indies Bob and Jeanne Berney from FilmDistrict, owner Graham King and CEO Peter Schlessel have been rethinking their distribution operation. By adding two key execs from the studios, FilmDistrict is marking a change of direction with distribution president Jim Orr and marketing president Christine Birch; both report to Schlessel.
FilmDistrict’s releases include Guy Pearce thriller “Lockout” (which Open Road opened on April 13, 2012), Sundance hit “Safety Not Guaranteed” (June 8, 2012), Rian Johnson’s “Looper” (with Endgame Entertainment and Sony Pictures, September 28, 2012), the remake “Red Dawn,” (through Open Road, November 2, 2012), “Playing the Field” (December 25, 2012), and “Parker” (January 25, 2013). The company is also rebooting horror classic “Evil Dead” (with Ghost House Pictures and Sony Pictures), set to shoot in 2012, and has announced a sequel to its hit pick-up “Insidious.”
Orr held positions at MGM and Paramount Pictures including executive vice president and general sales manager of theatrical distribution and senior vice president of domestic distribution. Most recently, Orr was president of Steamboat Rock Entertainment, where he consulted for a number of unique groups including Miramax, PirateEye and portal Tugg.