Submarine Entertainment, New York, NY
The Influence

Twin brothers (and former punk bandmates) Dan and Josh Braun haven't just been stalwarts of the indie film scene for over a decade. Their company Submarine Entertainment, founded in 2001, is exemplary in adapting and evolving along with the industry. Beyond handling sales for major fest titles like "Searching for Sugar Man," "Food, Inc." and "Your Sister's Sister," Submarine is also a production company putting out features like "Black Rock" and "An Unreasonable Man," and has even gotten into distribution with docs "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" and "Chasing Ice."

The Brauns' work with Submarine continues to be one of the best case studies for balancing business and passion while also shifting to accommodate an evolving indie film landscape. As the marketplace has changed, so has their approach, from the tail end of the dot-com era when they were considering early digital distribution possibilities to, in recent years, handling distribution for select films themselves under their Submarine Deluxe label.

But their main secret to success? Staying limber. As Dan put it, "We're flexible and we're open to changes that are happening in the market and different approaches to filmmaking and storytelling -- and we are still willing to take risks."

Biggest Success

Getting a shout-out during the Academy Awards when "Searching for Sugar Man" won best documentary feature. "It was definitely thrilling," said Dan.

Biggest Disappointment

Heading into Toronto in 2008, Submarine was informed by distributors that they wouldn't be buying docs because nonfiction films no longer worked with their business plans. "Almost fighting words," noted Josh, who explained they decided to go in with only docs, and despite initial difficulties in selling their roster ended up doing incredibly well.

Biggest Challenge

Remembering that short-term triumphs don't always make for long-term wins. "These relationships go on for a long time, and it gets very cutthroat -- more than I think some people realize," said Josh. "You have to figure out ways to keep relationships positive and fresh."

What's Next

The Braun brothers bought the rights to horror comics magazines Creepy and Eerie and have been developing projects based on those properties, including an anthology film with Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures. "We're big horror movie and genre fans," Dan noted.

Josh's Survey
Josh Braun
Co-president
Submarine Entertainment
My Biggest Career Break...
Selling "Baywatch" in Africa
Best Filmmaker Working Today...
Woody Allen
A Guilty Pleasure Movie...
"Tommy Boy"
My First Job...
Selling hamburgers at a concert hall while The Allman Brothers or Bob Marley and the Wailers or The Kinks played in the background
14 YEARS OLD
The age that Josh got his first job
12 FESTIVALS
Attended this year by Josh
18 WEEKS
The average amount that Josh travels for work each year
18 TIMES
Josh has been to the Sundance Film Festival
Dan's Survey
Dan Braun
Co-president
Submarine Entertainment
My Biggest Career Break...
While running the art studio at ad agency TBWA, asked the creative director (a dapper gentleman named Arnie Arlow) if I could submit some ideas for the Absolut Vodka account. I submitted 10 ideas and they bought all 10. Since nobody else sold any ads that year, I ended up basically taking over the account.
Best Filmmaker Working Today...
Darren Aronofsky and David Fincher (tie)
A Guilty Pleasure Movie...
"Mrs. Doubtfire"...is a defense needed? Listing it as a guilty pleasure connotes that it's somehow not a great movie; it is. The guilty part is that I watch it three to four times a year and I'm not sure I want everyone to know that. Oh well... too late. Maybe that makes it not really a guilty pleasure and more like a pleasure. So if that disqualifies it then the original "Red Dawn" -- an appallingly simpleminded movie that I've seen more times than I would like to admit.
My First Job...
Parking lot attendant at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, MA, where I grew up
18 years old
Age when working first job
10 Festivals
Attended this year by Dan
10 Weeks
The average amount that Dan travels for work each year
11 Times
Dan has been to the Sundance Film Festival