PBS and PBS Distribution is expanding its theatrical distribution and non-theatrical sales efforts. The media distributor for the public television community has hired Erin Owens as head of theatrical distribution and Emily Rothschild as director of theatrical acquisitions and marketing. Both executives joined from their New York-based distributor Long Shot Factory. Owens and Rothschild will be looking to acquire theatrical, non-theatrical, home entertainment and VOD rights for films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which starts Thursday.
PBS and PBS Distribution has joint partnerships with public media’s WNET, WGBH, ITVS, and POV, with a goal of acquiring and releasing up to six feature-length documentaries per year.
In a statement, Andrea Downing, PBS Distribution co-president, said Owens and Rothschild’s “extensive experience designing, managing and implementing theatrical campaigns, including festival and non-theatrical strategies, will further enhance what PBS Distribution and our partners can offer to filmmakers and help bring films to a much wider audience.”
Owens and Rothschild previously worked with PBS Distribution on the theatrical release of Stanley Nelson’s “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” prior to its February 2016 broadcast. The film screened in roughly 65 U.S. cities nationwide and was the most-tweeted about program in PBS history.
Owens and Rothschild also handled the release of the recently Academy Award-shortlisted and critically acclaimed documentary “Command and Control,” by Academy Award nominee Robert Kenner. The pair are currently handling the release of Barak Goodman’s “Oklahoma City,” set to premiere at Sundance in the Documentary Premieres section, in theaters on February 3, and airing on PBS on February 7.
Owens and Rothschild previously worked together at THINKFilm, and have collaborated for a decade at various companies, including Arthouse Films and Cinedigm/New Video.