By Dana Harris | Indiewire January 6, 2011 at 2:49AM
As the hypenated name suggests, just-announced sales company Sierra/Affinity is the merged efforts of Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg's Sierra Pictures (sales, financing and production) and Gigi Pritzker and Michel Litvak's Affinity International (the sales company created by Bold Films and OddLot Entertainment).
Look for Sierra/Affinity to handle studio-centric titles that try to combine modest budgets with higher returns, like Sierra's "Untitled 3D Shark Thriller" (to be released through Relativity) and "Drive," which FilmDistrict will release.
Sierra/Affinity will represent third-party films in addition to those produced by its partners. In addition to Sierra, Bold and OddLot, there's Quickdraw Prods. (owned by Bold, OddLot and Robert Rodriguez) and White Knuckle (owned by Sierra and Brett Ratner).
Meyer says he'll be at the Sundance Film Festival for a few days, but the real Sierra/Affinity launch will take place at the Berlin International Film Festival, where he hopes to announce a few of those third-party titles.
The full release follows on the next page.
Sierra/Affinity press release:
Capitalizing on the ever-evolving global film marketplace, Sierra Pictures and Affinity International announced today the creation of a new sales company called Sierra / Affinity. The new entity will represent sales of third party films as well as act as the exclusive sales agent for films developed and produced by OddLot Entertainment, Bold Films and Sierra Pictures and its partner, Incentive Filmed Entertainment. Sierra / Affinity will offer commercial films designed to appeal to both the North American marketplace as well as top markets around the globe.
Sierra / Affinity will be run by CEO Nick Meyer with his partner Marc Schaberg who will serve as the company’s COO and CFO. OddLot’s founder Gigi Pritzker and Bold Films’ founder Michel Litvak will serve on Sierra / Affinity’s three-person Board along with Meyer. The new company will capitalize on an economy of scale by harnessing the development, production and financing capabilities of respected producers OddLot and Bold and combining them with Sierra’s sales, sourcing and financing infrastructure. The relationship between the companies also offers co-financing opportunities on film projects.
“The creation of Sierra / Affinity offers the marketplace a new world class sales organization that is primed to represent third party product as well as films developed produced and financed both jointly and independently from Sierra, OddLot and Bold,” said Meyer. “Gigi and Michel have produced many notable films and their companies continue to remain at the forefront of independently produced feature film arena. The sales component of Sierra / Affinity, combined with the joint production and financing opportunities, this new entity creates will also help to take the great business they have built to even further success.”
Gigi Pritzker and Michel Litvak said in a joint statement, “We are thrilled to be getting into business with Nick and Marc. We’re also proud of the work our team has done at Affinity. This combination puts our new company, Sierra/Affinity, at the forefront of the international sales marketplace and continues to build upon the strengths we have each achieved to date. We are very excited about our future together.”
Sierra/Affinity will operate out of offices located in Beverly Hills. The formal operating and executive structure will be announced in the coming weeks. Sierra will separately maintain its White Knuckle production arm, which, in partnership with Brett Ratner, is designed to produce action / thrillers of a reasonable budget. Sierra / Affinity will act as the sales representative to White Knuckle.
OddLot and Bold will remain as individual production companies and continue certain joint business ventures, including the recently formed Quickdraw Productions, a joint venture production company OddLot and Bold own in combination with Robert Rodriguez. Quickdraw is meant to be a vehicle for Rodriguez to develop, produce and direct feature films. Sierra / Affinity will act as the sales representative to Quickdraw.
Sierra’s UNTITLED 3D SHARK THRILLER and the joint Bold/OddLot production, DRIVE (starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan) each exemplify the type of film Sierra / Affinity will represent in the international sales arena. Each film has domestic distribution, DRIVE with FilmDistrict and the UNTITLED 3D SHARK THRILLER with Relativity.
About the partners:
OddLot Entertainment is the production company founded by Gigi Pritzker. Pritzker will continue to run the production company with Bill Lischak as COO and Linda McDonough as Executive Vice President of Production and Development. OddLot has produced such recent films as RABBIT HOLE (starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, the film is currently in release with Lionsgate), FROM PRADA TO NADA (starring Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega, the film is being released by Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films on January 28, 2011). OddLot and Bold Films currently have the film, DRIVE (starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, directed by Nicholas Refn) in post production. OddLot and Bold are producing as partners along with Marc Platt.
Bold Films is the production company founded by Michel Litvak who continues to run the entity with Gary Michael Walters and David Lancaster serving as co-Presidents. Recently the company produced LEGION (starring Paul Bettany and directed by Scott Stewart), which was released by Sony’s Screen Gems and grossed over $40 million in the US. In addition to co-producing DRIVE with OddLot Entertainment, the company has various projects in active development with several accomplished directors, including James Mangold and Phillip Noyce.
Sierra Pictures LLC is an independent film finance, production and foreign sales company which was launched by Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg in June 2009. In addition to financing films, Sierra Pictures sells and services Sidney Kimmel Entertainment’s film library and upcoming slate.