By Brian Brooks | Indiewire January 16, 2009 at 3:37AM
Paola Freccero has left her post at the Tribeca Film Festival to join B-Side Entertainment where she is now heading the company's newly launched distribution division. The unit will distribute independent films nationally to what it describes as "a wide variety of outlets including theatrical and non-theatrical venues, via online and on-demand platforms, television networks and on DVD with low-cost, high-impact marketing campaigns." The company's CEO and founder Chris Hyams said that the initiative will be financed through a $4.25 million investment led by Valhalla Partners.
Now in its fourth year, B-Side has used its proprietary technology to provide more than 250 film festivals across North America with web sites and online film guides. Last year, the company used its 4 million-strong user network to identify undistributed films to ehibit nationally with what it describes as "little or no P&A expenses," to augment ancillary revenues. B-Side cites its successrul release of "Super High Me" as a model for its new distribution division, which plans a 10-title slate for 2009.
Virginia-based Valhalla Partners targeted its investment to create and expand the distribution unit of B-Side. The $4.25 million financing deal was closed back in November and is the second round of financing for the 4-year old start-up. The deal was negotiated on behalf of B-Side by Hyams and Liesl Copland who, amid the process, joined Endeavor Independent in Los Angeles. Copland, as well as her new employer, will continue her relationship with the company.
Freccero is on board with B-Side at Sundance, serving as President of Distribution and is opening the company's New York office. She is responsible for daily operations, overseeing acquisitions, marketing and distribution and reports to Hyams. Prior to joining B-Side, Freccero served as co-executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival and SVP of Tribeca Enterprises. And before joining Tribeca, she owned her own consulting company and spent five years at Sundance Channel as VP of International and finally SVP of film Programming. She also has served as the Artistic Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
"B-Side offers filmmakers a real alternative to the difficult world of indie film distribution where P&A costs crush any hope they have of getting back-end revenue," commented Hyams in a statement. "We are grateful that Valhalla Partners has shown such confidence in the company and our new distribution model, especially in such precarious financial times. And I have faith that under the leadership of an industry veteran like Paola Freccero, B-Side will be able to build on that model to create a dynamic and profitable film slate in 2009 and beyond."