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BIZ: New Distributor Set for Theatrical, but with Eye on the Internet

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire July 20, 1999 at 2:0AM

by Eugene Hernandez
0

by Eugene Hernandez




Another brother in the Lipsky family is branching out into the specialty
film arena with the formation of Lot 47, a new distribution company that is
focused on being a theatrical and Internet exhibitor. Scott Lipsky,
brother of Samuel Goldwyn's Jeff and the Independent Film Channel's Mark,
has unveiled plans for the outfit. On Friday, indieWIRE spoke with Lipsky
about the new company and confirmed that its first release will be Tim
Roth's "The War Zone."


Scott Lipsky, a co-founder of the Internet ad agency Avenue A, explained
that he would maintain his role as Chief Technologist at the company.
While his background is in the web, Lipsky told indieWIRE that he will team
with brother Jeff, a co-founder of October Films, to distribute "The War
Zone," a movie that Lipsky admitted he and his brother are "amazingly
enthusatic about." Scott Lipsky indicated that Jeff would remain with
Samuel Goldwyn while working on releasing the movie.

"Having Jeff work with 'The War Zone' is going to make the biggest
difference, knowing how to do this right," Lipsky explained, "He's had some
amazing home runs."


"The War Zone," which debuted at Sundance and screened at the Berlin Film
Festival has been invited to next month's Edinburgh Film Festival and the
Toronto International Film Festival in September. Produced by Sarah
Radclyffe ("Wish You Were Here") and Dixie Linder, the film was written by
Alexander Stuart (based on his novel) and stars Tilda Swinton ("Orlando"),
Ray Winston ("Nil by Mouth"), Lara Belmont, and Freddie Cunliffe.


Scott Lipsky indicated that the release of "The War Zone" would be the
company's primary focus through the end of this year. Lot 47 intends to
release the movie in December in six cities, followed by a larger rollout
in January.


Explaining that "theatrical is very important, but you cannot avoid the
Internet long term," Lipsky emphasized, "You cannot avoid broadband long
term." The company is determined to build a movie library of indies that
fall through the cracks and release them both theatrically and online.
"There is an endless reservoir of high-quality independent films out there
that have fallen through the cracks, Scott Lipsky indicated in announcing
the new company, "We're going to retrieve them and give them a second
chance at success in a totally new and revolutionary ways."


Lipsky would not discuss the company's specific plan for building Lot 47's
online outlet, nor would he discuss his venture's timeline for acquiring
additional movies. However, reflecting on the potential for expansion into
the online distribution arena, he acknowledged the medium as ripe for
exploration. "When you look at the proliferation of broadband and the
availability of high-speed (access) to the home the audience is greater,"
he said, "There are a lot of efforts in (distributing) shorts, (but) the
combination of theatrical and digital raises a lot of opportunities."


"Its going to become a lot more common over time for distributors to become
involved in (online distribution)," Lipsky speculated, "They are the
natural conduit -- not a lot of distributors have been focused on this."


While Scott Lipsky would not comment on funding for the release or the new
company, he stated that Lot 47 "absolutely has the means to market this
film. I am not at liberty to discuss (the financing)," he explained, "But
we are completely independent."

[For more information, visit the Lot 47 website at: http://www.lot47.com.]

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