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Distributor Profile: Roadside Attractions

Distributor Profile: Roadside Attractions

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

Company History

Roadside Attractions is a Los Angeles-based U.S. theatrical distribution company founded in December of 2003 by former UTA agent Howard Cohen and producer Eric d’Arbeloff (“Trick,” “Lovely and Amazing”). The company was initially partnered with Samuel Goldwyn Films under the IDP distribution umbrella. The pair’s first joint acquisition was “Super Size Me,” which they picked up out at Sundance in 2004. In the spring of 2007, Roadside broke out on its own, selling a minority stake in the company to Lionsgate, which currently handles all Roadside ancillaries. Some of Roadside’s recent releases include Academy Award-winner “The Cove,” Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Winter’s Bone,” “The September Issue” and Chris Rock’s “Good Hair.”

Company Focus

Types of films in distributor’s slate:
Roadside focuses mainly on American independent films. Our slate is split fairly evenly between narratives and documentaries mixed with the occasional foreign-language film. While our films encompass many different genres and target audiences, we like to say that we’re on the lookout for “intelligent independent films that still have a willingness to entertain.”

Advice for filmmakers:
As far as advice for filmmakers looking for distribution, I would just say to do your homework. Try, as much as possible, to be objective and realistic about what type of film you have and which company might be the best fit for it. Think of past films that you believe are comparable to yours and do some Internet research to find out which sales agents they used, which festivals they played and which companies they eventually ended up with. By having this prior knowledge, you can have a better grasp of what the realistic options are for your film.

Quick Stats

Who handles acquisitions:
Dustin Smith is Roadside’s Head of Acquisitions.

Number of films released theatrically each year:
Roadside releases between 10 and 15 films per year. Since all of our releases are theatrically oriented and driven, we feel like this is the right number for us to be able to give each film the specific attention it deserves.

Distribution platforms other than theatrical:
We acquire all U.S. rights to films. Roadside handles the theatrical release, with DVD and digital going through our output deal with Lionsgate and our Pay-TV rights going through our deal with Epix.

Roadside doesn’t currently do any direct-to-video or direct-to-digital releases. All our films are theatrically driven.

Number of films acquired at festivals:
The majority of our films do premiere at major U.S. festivals. However, through innovative partnerships with producers and filmmakers, we do come across films in other manners as well.

Festivals where distributor has acquired films in the last two years:
In the past two years, we have acquired films which premiered in Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and Berlin. We also attend Cannes, SXSW, the Los Angeles Film Festival, American Film Institute Fest and various other festivals and screenings throughout the year.

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

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