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Distributor Profile: New Yorker Films

Distributor Profile: New Yorker Films

All information published in the indieWIRE Distributor Profiles is provided by the individual company.

Company History
For more than 40 years, New Yorker Films has been America’s leading source for the films that matter on the cutting edge of world cinema.

The company was founded in 1965 by Daniel Talbot as an outgrowth of his legendary movie house, the New Yorker Theater. Unable to obtain several crucial foreign titles, Talbot was obliged to import them himself. Early acquisitions such as Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Before the Revolution,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Les Carabiniers” and Osmane Sembene’s “Black Girl” established New Yorker’s still vital tradition of presenting the world’s most innovative, artistically significant and politically engaged films.

Controversial and challenging works considered untouchable by other distributors have been regularly taken on by New Yorker (and often turned into surprise hits), including Jacques Rivette’s self-reflexive masterpiece “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” Chantal Akerman’s feminist landmark “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles”, Claude Lanzmann’s monumental Holocaust documentary “Shoah” and Emir Kusturica’s unruly epic “Underground.” Always on the alert for fresh talent and new trends, New Yorker Films was the primary force in introducing this country to the postmodernist New German Cinema, the politically embattled Latin American cinema and the postcolonial African cinema. It discovered the early breakthrough works of such now-celebrated filmmakers as Agnieszka Holland, Juzo Itami, Errol Morris, Wayne Wang and Zhang Yimou. More recent acquisitions have explored exciting new frontiers in the Iranian, Asian and Eastern European cinemas.

After a dormant period in 2009, New Yorker Films resumed operations under the leadership of Jose Lopez in 2010.

Company Focus

Types of films in distributor’s slate:
Foreign films make up the greater part of the slate, rounded out by cutting-edge documentaries and American indie films.

Advice for filmmakers:
Submit films to respected film festivals. Most of New Yorker Films’ acquisitions are made from such festivals as Cannes, Toronto or Berlin.

Quick Stats

Who handles acquisitions:
Films should be submitted to our acquisitions team for consideration.

Number of films released theatrically each year:
Current target is six to eight new films per year, along with the occasional reissue from the library.

Distribution platforms other than theatrical:

Number of films released exclusively via VOD/DVD or “alternative” means of release:
Approximately 30.

Number of films acquired at festivals:
Approximately 80%.

Festivals where distributor has acquired films in the last two years:

[For more information, visit the company’s website.]

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