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U.S. Distributors are Popping Up Like Mushrooms – Olive Films

U.S. Distributors are Popping Up Like Mushrooms - Olive Films

Farhad Arshad’s long established Olive Films, a well respected home video company, has ramped up theatrically because John Tilley, the veteran distributor whose Cinevista brought Almodovar to the U.S. in the 80s, in April of 2010 took a risk and left Strand where he was head of home video for a decade. John has extensive and diverse experience as a domestic distributor, marketer, and licensor of domestic and international independent feature films and documentaries. As Executive Vice President for Acquisitions and Theatrical Distribution for Olive Films, he is taking the well established video distributor into the theatrical arena, opening in the fall with The Match Factory’s Milk of Sorrow, an Official Selection for the Foreign Language Oscar last year.

John Tilley

From April to the present, November 2010 these are the Olive Film releases we can look forward to. Four of the fifteen are directed by women and three are Official Selections for Best Foreign Language Oscar – Germany, Turkey and Estonia.:

AMER [Bitter] France / Belgium 2009, directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani

BROTHERHOOD [Broderskab] Denmark 2009, directed by by Nicolo Donato

THE GIRL [Flickan] Sweden 2009, directed by by Fredrik Edfeldt

LETTERS TO FATHER JACOB Finland 2009, directed by Klaus Härö

ME TOO [Yo, También] Spain 2009, directed by Antonio Naharro and Alvaro Pastor

THE MILK OF SORROW [La teta austada] Peru / Spain 2009, directed by Claudia Llosa

NOTHING PERSONAL Ireland / UK 2009, directed by Urszula Antoniak

R Denmark 2010, directed by Tobias Lindholm and Michael Noer

THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY Estonia / Sweden 2009, directed by Veiko Õunpuu. Estonia’s Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

And for 2011:

WHEN WE LEAVE (Die Fremde), Germany’s Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

BAL (Honey), Turkey’s Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar





And more to come…

From 2000 to March 2010, as Vice President Home Video, John was in charge of home video distribution and marketing for Strand Releasing, one of the most adventurous independent film distributors of the last decade.

In 1998/99, with the advent of DVD and its impact on independent and specialized film on video, John helped establish new home video distribution entities at Picture This! Entertainment and at Overseas/First Look Films.

At Ben Barenholtz’ Libra Films [1975-1978], John learned the basics of specialized film exhibition and distribution from one of the pioneers of that field, while working on the release of the first films by David Lynch and Derek Jarman among others.

As National Sales Director of United Artists Classics [1978-1981], John expanded the division, previously limited to repertory film, to include first-run theatrical releases and films acquired from outside UA.

As co-founder and co-owner of Cinevista, Inc. [1981-1996] with Rene Fuentes, he marketed, distributed and licensed films by Pedro Almodóvar (his first eight features), Derek Jarman, Paul Morrissey, Jonathan Demme, and M. Night Shyamalan among many others.

In 1997, John co-founded with Joy Pereths ProActive Film Marketing, which focused on empowering independent filmmakers in the UK and Europe. ProActive’s clients included Ken Loach’s Parallax Films, Film 4, the British Council and British Screen Finance.

As an independent, from 1997 to 2009, John has supervised the theatrical distribution of a number of specialty feature films and documentaries ranging from Ronnie Larson’s Shooting Porn to Slava Tsukerman’s Perestroika.

John R. Tilley’s career highlights since 1975 include:

Libra Films [1975 -1978]
Just Before Nightfall (1975) Claude Chabrol
Touch and Go (1975) Philippe de Broca
Cousin, cousine (1976) Jean-Charles Tacchella
Sebastiane (1976) Derek Jarman
Eraserhead (1977) David Lynch
Martin (1978) George A. Romero

United Artists Classics [1978-1981]
3000+ title library from UA, MGM and Warner Bros. (pre-1948)
Just A Gigolo (1978) David Hemmings
Fedora (1979) Billy Wilder
Henry V (1979 re-issue) Laurence Olivier
The Canterbury Tales (1980) Pier Paolo Pasolini
The Arabian Nights (1980) Pier Paolo Pasolini
Fabian (1980) Wolf Gremm
Home Movies (1980) Brian De Palma
Second Chance (1981) Claude Lelouch

Cinevista, Inc.[1981-1996]
Taxi zum Klo (1981) Frank Ripploh
Liquid Sky (1982) Slava Tsukerman
L’Homme blessé (1983) Patrice Chereau
Mixed Blood (1985) Paul Morrissey
Ein Mann wie EVA (1985) Radu Gabrea
What Have I Done To Deserve This! (1985) Pedro Almodóvar – US release & international sales
Caravaggio (1986) Derek Jarman
Law of Desire (1987) Pedro Almodóvar – US release & international sales
Matador (1988) Pedro Almodóvar
Dark Habits (1988) Pedro Almodóvar – US release & international sales
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) Pedro Almodóvar – Licensed to Orion Pictures for International and Orion Classics for US. Licensed remake rights to TriStar Pictures
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)Pedro Almodóvar – Pre-sales & international sales; US theatrical and remake rights licensed to Miramax
Cousin Bobby (1992) Jonathan Demme – Un Certain Regard – US release & international sales
Like Water For Chocolate (1992) Alfonso Arau – International pre-sales
Praying With Anger (1993) M. Night Shyamalan – US release & international sales
For a more complete list:

Proactive Film Marketing [1997-2000]
1997: Produced “What You Don’t Know …”, a film distribution / marketing workshop presented at Utrecht, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Galway and Miami.
1999: Produced “Changing The Guard: The Festival of New British Cinema” in association with The British Council and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. This festival of British features and short films opened at Lincoln Center and toured 10 other major America cities.

As an Independent Agent [1997-2009]
1997: Independently released Ronnie Larson’s Shooting Porn theatrically and on home video.
1997: With Jour de Fête Films, released Roland Tec’s All The Rage theatrically and on home video.
1998: Consulted for Doug Witkins in the setup of Picture This! Home Video.
1999: Consulted for MJ Peckos in the setup of the home video division of First Look Films.
2000: With FilmNext, released Tim Kirkman’s The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, and represented the film at The European Film Market in Berlin and at The London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
2000: Supervised the theatrical release of Dan Cohen’s Diamond Men starring Robert Forster and Donnie Walhberg, and represented the film at The European Film Market in Berlin.
2004: Distributed the highly acclaimed documentary Stalin’s Wife.
2008/09: Theatrically released Slava Tsukerman’s Perestroika and Roland Tec’s We Pedal Uphill.

Strand Releasing [2000-March 2010]
In 2000, set up the in-house DVD distribution department of Strand Releasing. Managed the administration, distribution and marketing of all Strand video releases.
Recent highlights include:
Head-On (2005) Fatih Akin
Mysterious Skin (2006) Gregg Araki
Loggerheads (2006) Tim Kirkman
Le temps qui reste (2007) François Ozon
Half Moon (2007) Bahman Ghobadi
The Man of My Life (2008) Zabou Breitman
The Witnesses (2008) André Téchiné
The Edge of Heaven (2008) Fatih Akin
How About You (2009) Anthony Byrne
Un secret (2009) Claude Miller
Of Time and the City (2009) Terence Davies
The Headless Woman (2009) Lucrecia Martel
For a more complete list:

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