by Mark Rabinowitz
The Samuel Goldwyn Company has hired October Films co-founder Jeff
Lipsky and his Plainview Pictures, Inc. to create a marketing and
theatrical distribution operation for the distributor, as part of a
company revitalization. While the current arrangement calls for Plainview
to run the department, eventually Lipsky's production company will
become dormant with Lipsky being named Head of Marketing and
Distribution for Goldwyn. "I expect that I will be, for quite some
time, a collaborator with The Samuel Goldwyn Company and really
look forward to restoring it to its glory days," Lipsky told indieWIRE.
The hiring brings Lipsky back to Goldwyn, where he served as
Vice-President of distribution from 1982-88. "Jeff is very
driven and a showman," Chairman Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. told indieWIRE,
adding that he was thrilled at Lipsky's return to the company.
Speaking about the company's plans, Lipsky said that "there is going
to be a mix of acquisitions (and) production," with the release slate
being a mix of mostly English language films, and a small percentage of
foreign language film. The company has three films awaiting release,
twoare foreign language pictures. The first film is Bigas Luna's "The
Chambermaid on the Titanic," starring Romane Bohringer, Olivier
Martinez and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, the second is "The King of
Masks," which Lipsky calls "a beautiful little Chinese film," and the
third release is Tony Spiridakis' "Tinseltown," starring Arye
Gross, Kristy Swanson, Ron Perlman and Joe Pantoliano. "Tinseltown" was
acquired prior to the completion of production, and Lipsky said that
projects will be bought in at various stages, from the optioning of books, to
the acquisition of completed films. The company also recently grabbed the
motion picture rights to the novel "My Soul to Keep," by Miami Heral
columnist Tananarive Due.
Discussing the state of the independent distribution world, Lipsky said that
"what has reinvigorated my interest in distribution is the fact that
since October was sold to Universal, I think there is a real chasm in
the marketplace, the same kind of chasm that existed in 1990 when I
started October with Bingham (Ray)." Lipsky said that the company plans
to eventually release from six to eight films per year.
Lipsky told indieWIRE that he will continue to be based in New York, while
Goldwyn's headquarters will remain in Los Angeles, but he added that "as the
revitalization of the company takes form, there is certainly a possibility that
I will be relocating to Los Angeles."