Former A&E Indie Films exec Ryan Harrington will head up operations at the newly launched IndiePix Studios, the production and filmmaker relations arm of online consumer film website, IndiePix Films. In his new position Harrington, who currently oversees the Tribeca Film Institute‘s Gucci Fund, will take on executive producer reponsibilities for documentary and narrative productions that the company has invested in. He will also be responsible for the DVD and digital acquisitions at IndiePix, in addition to tailoring distribution strategies for the company. Additional responsibilites include spearheading sales to broadcasters both domestically and abroad of titles for which IndiePix holds TV rights.
A new film from directing duo Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern (“The Trials of Darryl Hunt“) is among the projects on Harrington’s plate. The Sundberg/Stern film, titled “The End of America” — based on a Naomi Wolf essay — is currently in production. Described as a “political wake up call to America,” the film, with a robust DVD release on tap, will have targeted theatrical screenings surrounding the DVD debut this fall. Meanwhile, in the wake of its own small, recent theatrical release, Kristi Jacobson’s “Toots” will also have a high profile DVD release this autumn with similar targeted event theatrical screenings in the planning stages.
Harrington is also currently producing, with Cactus 3, a film called “21 Below” (by first time director Samantha Buck). The film is described as a verite-style drama about a family struggling to stick together in Buffalo, NY. Talking with indieWIRE by phone over the weekend, Ryan Harrington noted, “I knew that IndiePix invested in [Jennifer Venditti‘s] ‘Billy the Kid‘ and I took this project to them. They [agreed] to finance the post-production, and that gave me the opportunity to get to know [IndiePix founder and president] Bob Alexander, then they offered me this position.” Harrington is currently in the UK for this week’s BritDoc festival in Oxford.
Launched in 2004, IndiePix is an online platform for indie distribution that allows filmmakers the opportunity to distibute their films while maintaining rights to their projects. Last year the team oversaw the completion of Venditti’s “Billy the Kid,” which went on to win best documentary prizes at the Edinburgh, Los Angeles, SXSW and Melbourne film festivals.
“We have been very pleased with the number of filmmakers we have the opportunity to work with and their commitment to what IndiePix is trying to do…,” the company’s president Bob Alexander told indieWIRE via email from Europe over the weekend. “In building those associations and working with those people, we have also been making investments in films, typically late in the production process.” Adding that his company’s investments were at the $500,000 range, Alexander noted that with new films about to hit the festival circuit, he was aimed at finding new ways to support the projects.
“Seeing colleagues and friends of mine having difficulty, and working with the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund (which offers finishing funds to feature-length docs that promote ‘social change’), I saw all these great films that were possibly not going to see the light of day,” Harrington told indieWIRE. “So I was happy to find a position that will help connect great product with audiences… IndiePix has an amazing technology that allows a person to download to own, and it can be burned onto DVD that is ‘DVD quality.'”
Harrington said that he will maintain some role at the Gucci Tribeca doc fund after he fully takes on his new role at the end of August. After Brit Doc this week for both the fund and IndiePix, Harrington said he will be on the international doc circuit in the coming months including Sheffield and IDFA in November, as well the Berlinale next February.
“Ryan’s background for this assignment is absolutely perfect,” said Alexander. “He has great relationships with the filmmaker community and he will contribute immeiately to growing our group of ‘IndiePix filmmakers.'” He has a significant track record in managing projects with substantial investment in them, and we are confident of his ability t lead the projects we have now and those we are looking forward to doing.”