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Ex-‘Film Comment’ Editor Gavin Smith Joins Cohen Media Group

Ex-'Film Comment' Editor Gavin Smith Joins Cohen Media Group

It came as a shock in late December when the Film Society of Lincoln Center abruptly announced that Gavin Smith was “conclud[ing] his run” as the editor of Film Comment, effectively immediately. But not quite two months later, Smith has landed a new position in acquisitions at Cohen Media Group. Cohen’s chairman and CEO, Charles S. Cohen, is also busy revamping Manhattan’s Quad Cinema, where Smith will also program repertory film alongside IFC Center veteran Christopher Wells.

Smith won’t have as much money to throw around in his new position as Scott Foundas, the longtime film critic who now works for Amazon Studios, which made eight-figure waves at Sundance this year. But Cohen does have current Oscar nominee “Mustang” in its lineup, and an impressive back catalogue that includes films by Alfred Hitchcock, Abbas Kiarostami, and a new Blu-ray set devoted to Italian greats the Taviani brothers. We look forward to seeing what he does at his new berth.

The complete release follows:

New York, NY (February 18, 2016) – Charles S. Cohen, owner, Chairman/CEO of Cohen Media Group, today
announced the appointment of Gavin Smith, the longtime editor of Film
Comment, to the new position of Vice President, Cohen
Media Group.  Smith will work alongside Charles S. Cohen and CMG’s Vice
President and Archivist, Tim Lanza,  to seek out films to acquire for
the Cohen Film Collection, currently comprised of over 800 landmark
works by cinema giants.

Smith
will collaborate in programming the repertory screen at the newly
redesigned Quad and will also help create film series, filmmaker
presentations and discussions.
The
appointment of Smith will enhance the status of the Quad Cinema as the
New York City home of classic, foreign, art-house and independent films.
Cohen acquired the historic Greenwich Village movie house in 2014 and
is in the process of renovating and modernizing it to present a wide
range of new and vintage films.
For
decades, Gavin Smith has been a highly respected figure in the film
world, as critic and programmer. He joined the Film Society of Lincoln
Center in 1987 and began programming there in 1995. In 2000, he became
the editor of Film Comment, the FSLC’s official publication and
America’s leading magazine of film criticism. Under Smith’s
leadership, Film Comment reemphasized cinema’s contemporary relevance
while honoring its past with impassioned writing by such renowned
critics as Amy Taubin, Kent Jones, Dave Kehr, Andrew Sarris and J.
Hoberman, and instituted regular columns by such filmmakers as Alex Cox
and Guy Maddin. Smith has worked in various capacities at FSLC for 28
years. 
Charles
S. Cohen said, “We are thrilled to bring a film figure of Gavin’s
stature to our team. His expertise, taste and passion for cinema will be
invaluable as we strive to make the new Quad Cinema a welcoming place
for New York City’s filmgoers.”
The
800-plus-title Cohen Film Collection comprises landmark works by Buster
Keaton, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock and many others cinema
giants, and includes such wide-ranging titles as Intolerance, For Ever
Mozart, The General, Jamaica Inn, Tristana and W.C. Fields’s shorts.
Since acquiring this treasure-trove (formerly the Rohauer Collection),
Cohen Media Group has embarked on a major ongoing restoration project,
with new prints of key films receiving theatrical engagements prior to
release in deluxe Blu-ray and DVD packages. 

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