Hollywood studio and indie veteran Chris McGurk’s Cinedigm Entertainment Group continues to expand as the digital cinema company repositions itself in the indie sector. As he focuses on Cinedigm’s core digital cinema servicing and software and independent content distribution units, which have the most growth potential, McGurk sold off two non-core divisions and acquired in April indie distributor/online aggregator New Video.
Cinedigm acquired New Video and its sizable library in order to be able to buy and release indie films. He sees Cinedigm, with more than 200 exhibition partners and more than 10,000 digital screens, as a content distributor and indie digital studio– with mobile platforms in its future. The new Cinedigm/New Video combine released their first theatrical film on June 22, Kirby Dick’s controversial Sundance doc “The Invisible War,” to be followed by SXSW Irish horror flick “The Citadel,” vacation comedy “In Our Nature,” starring John Slattery and Jena Malone, and 2010 Luc Besson-produced actioner “22 Bullets,” starring Jean Reno.
Beefing up acquisitions, precision marketing (and social media) and distribution operations are the current order of business, says McGurk. “We now have a low cost end-to-end distribution model for indie filmmakers,” he says. “You don’t have to have a 1000 screen release. You can go Cinedigm on 200 and go on some kind of compound window– iTunes, Amazon–which we can implement.”
Thus Cinedigm is adding veteran acquisition exec Vince Scordino as VP of theatrical acquisitions. Two internal promotions also take effect: Emily Rothschild is now acquisitions director, and Kristen Harris is theatrical acquisitions director. (See McGurk’s LAFF keynote speech here.)
Scordino was most recently at Millenium Entertainment, where he led the acquisitions of Richard Linklater’s “Bernie,” Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” and Elgin James’ “Little Birds.” Before that he was an executive at the short-lived Apparition, where he was involved with acquiring Jean-Marc Valle’s “The Young Victoria” and Nash Edgerton’s “The Square.”
Rothschild oversees all acquisitions for New Video’s prestige documentary label Docurama Films, and will handle theatrical, DVD, VOD and digital release across New Video’s brands. Since joining with New Video and Docurama in January 2011, Rothschild has helped to buy “The Invisible War,” “Being Elmo” and “Woody Allen: The Documentary.”
Harris joined Cinedigm in 2011 and participated in the acquisition of “Like Water,” “Citadel” and “In Our Nature.” She previously worked at Overture, when it acquired “The Men Who Stare at Goats” and “Sunshine Cleaning.”