After a robust three-year run as the director of programming at New York City’s Quad Cinema, C. Mason Wells surprised the indie film world by announcing his departure earlier this week. Now we know why he’s leaving: Wells is joining Kino Lorber as director of theatrical sales, starting Monday April 8. He’ll be reporting directly to Wendy Lidell, SVP of theatrical, non-theatrical distribution and acquisitions.
When the Quad Cinema relaunched in 2016, it distinguished itself almost immediately with its extraordinary repertory lineups, including retrospectives of Alain Delon, Bob Fosse, and films that were rated X. Almost instantly, the Quad was as essential a part of the New York City film landscape as the IFC Center, Anthology Film Archives, and BAM Cinematek (for all three of which Wells had previously programmed lineups), as well as Film Forum and the Metrograph.
“I am delighted that Chris Wells will be joining our team,” said Wendy Lidell, the company’s senior VP. “He brings to the table that rare mix of cinephilia and business acumen that has already made Kino Lorber a leader in its field. I believe Chris’s passion, intelligence and experience in exhibition will serve to further strengthen our relationships with theaters nationwide.”
Wells commented, “I’ve worked in arthouse movie theaters a long time, and one of my great passions remains experiencing cinema *in* a cinema. I’m thrilled to bring my exhibition experience into distribution with Kino Lorber, a company whose bold choices I’ve long admired, and dedicate myself to bringing the best in American and international film to theaters across the country.”
Kino Lorber recently opened Jean-Luc Godard’s “The Image Book,” Adina Pintilie’s “Touch Me Not,” Jafar Panahi’s “3 Faces,” a new restoration of Franco Rosso’s reggae cult classic “Babylon” (1980), and is opening Bi Gan’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” Lila Aviles’ “The Chambermaid,” and Rick Alverson’s “The Mountain” this summer.