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by Brian Brooks
June 10, 2009 6:43 AM
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Urman Exits Senator; Company Closes Distribution Arm

"This is a time of flux indeed," Mark Urman told indieWIRE today, confirming his departure from Senator, where he served as president under CEO Marco Weber, spearheading the Los Angeles and New York-based company's distribution arm. "I have left - it's amicable and mutual." The unit is closing leaving the fate of a number of films unclear.

In an article by the Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday night, Weber said that the company was having difficulty earmarking P&A for its slate including Antoine Fuqua's police drama "Brooklyn's Finest," which the company picked up at Sundance in January and Gregor Jordan's thriller "Unthinkable," starring Michael Sheen and Samuel L. Jackson, which the company produced.

Urman, who has relocated back to New York City in the wake of leaving Senator, took exception to the Hollywood Reporter's characterization that he worked at the company on a film by film basis, as stated in a quote from Weber. "One thing that was inaccurate - and I don't know if it was misunderstood since I wasn't present during the interview - was that my involvement was not in a film by film or month by month basis. I was announced in September as president of Senator Distribution, I dealth with the entirety of the slate and I got an apartment in L.A. I was there for the long haul."

Continuing, Urman left open the possibility of some involvement with individual projects despite his formal departure. "The 'film by film case' is from this point forward. If [Weber and I] are mutually and equally involved, then in that case, why not?" Urman said his contract had been negotiated to allow each party to step away should circumstances change.

So for now, Urman has returned to the New York City-area where he had served as head of ThinkFilm until he joined Senator late last summer. "It's great to be home, and now it's time to get back to work," said Urman who added it was not the time give details on what projects he'd be pursuing or continuing. "You have to let the filmmakers know and keep an open line of communication with filmmakers with all the necessary elegance... Everything needs to be discussed in its right time."

But Urman added, "I've definitely fallen in love with ['Brooklyn's Finest'] and the filmmaker, so we'll see what happens. It's different for each project on the company slate, so everything needs to be 'weighed and measured.' Certain projects were part of the Senator slate long before I came in, and then there were some that came into the fold that were very much part of my involvement. Mark and I speak constantly and we're moving forward both mutually and separately, all on a case by case basis."

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