Marc Schiller has temporarily stepped down as CEO of New York-based distributor BOND/360 to recover from an unspecified head and neck injury, the company announced this week. His wife and longtime business partner, Sara Schiller, has assumed the position of president of the company.
“The road to recovery is taking longer than we expected,” Sara said in a conversation with Indiewire on Wednesday. “But he’s doing well. We’re happy to have him moving forward, but he’s not going to behind the desk anytime soon.”
Sara added that her husband would elaborate on the nature of his accident publicly when he felt up to the task. He is expected to return to the company at an undetermined future date. In the meantime, his wife has assumed oversight on the operational needs for BOND/360, a subsidiary of the parent company Bond Strategy and Influence, which has also focused on marketing and corporate consulting services.
Since assuming her husband’s role, Sara has tightened the consulting arm of the company with a number of staffing changes and committed more focus to its film distribution ventures. In total, five full-time positions have been eliminated from the BOND/360 team, including the roles of graphic designer and editor, which the company intends to fill on a freelance basis. “We’re creating a smaller team that’s a little more fitting for the films we’re focused on,” she explained. “We’re looking to continue our specialization in documentary films and distributing them throughout their lifetimes.”
In recent years, BOND/360 has established itself with innovative distribution strategies for documentary films, including the Oscar-nominated “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” The company is currently ramping up plans for several upcoming releases. These include the Sundance-acclaimed look at an infamous arms smuggler “The Notorious Mr. Bout,” “Bending Steel,” a personable look at an aspiring strongman, and “Tomorrow We Disappear,” a portrait of an Indian colony of magicians and other street performers. The company is also planning to work on a marketing campaign for the non-profit Urban Arts Partnership, a venture supported by actress Rosie Perez, this fall. (BOND/360 publicist Matt Mazur will remain onboard as a consultant.)
Sara added that the company would pursue new acquisitions on the festival circuit this fall. “We want to continue focusing on films that are both entertaining and provocative,” she said. “We’re looking for films that we feel tap into niche audiences but have a broader story that wider audiences also find appealing.” She recently hired Indiegogo film consultant Kristen Konvitz to advise on upcoming acquisitions. (Konvitz remains a part of the Indiegogo team as well.) “We’re really focused on developing close relationships with filmmakers,” Sara added. “We want to tap into the resources of a film or its subject.”
Sara began her operational career at Starwood Hotels, and has worked alongside her husband for the past 10 years. She began to work with him on film distribution efforts with the release of “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in 2010. In addition to Bond’s distribution and consulting services, the couple also run a business for creative meeting spaces.