As Co-President of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, Jonathan Sehring oversees multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, IFC Midnight, Sundance Selects, IFC Productions and the IFC Center.
One of the most well respected executives in the specialty film business, Sehring is considered a maverick in the industry for expanding the audience for independent films. He was part of the team that launched The Independent Film Channel in 1994 and later created IFC Films and all of the film brands that today are part of AMC Networks Inc.
Under Sehring’s direction, IFC Films and its sister brands have been a leader in the independent film industry, distributing and producing unique, exceptional projects. The division’s three film distributions labels are: IFC Films, which was established in 2000 and has grown under Sehring’s guidance to become a leading U.S. distributor of high profile talent-driven independent film; IFC Midnight, a genre label established in 2010 that features the best in entertainment, including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, action and more; and Sundance Selects, a label launched in 2009 to distribute prestige films that focus on American independents, documentaries and world cinema.
Most recently, IFC Films’ Boyhood (written, produced and directed by Richard Linklater) has been hailed as a masterpiece, named the #1 movie of 2014 on more than 150 critics’ “Top 10” lists, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone and USA Today, and garnering an impressive list of industry awards and nominations, including nods in six Academy Awards categories (including Best Picture), three Golden Globe® Awards (including Best Picture) and a Screen Actors Guild Award (Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette). IFC Films’ Finding Vivian Maier and Sundance Selects’ Two Days, One Night have also been nominated for Academy Awards, and IFC Midnight’s The Babadook is a critical and cultural success.
Sehring has led IFC Films pioneer status in the movie industry by forging new ground on digital platforms. In 2006, he established IFC Films’ theatrical/VOD day and date distribution model, which made its independent films available in theaters nationwide as well as on demand. IFC Films was the first distribution company to release films in this way, and today, all three of the division’s film distribution labels utilize the model. In 2010, Sehring spearheaded the launch of SundanceNow, an online destination enabling consumers to rent or buy the best in contemporary and classic independent films from all over world – another platform to broaden the reach of independent film.
The opening of the IFC Center in 2005 marked IFC Films’ foray into film exhibition. Sehring oversaw the design and construction of the IFC Center, a multi-million dollar renovation of The Waverly Theater, a historic NYC landmark, to create a state-of-the-art cinema that shows art-house films in the heart of Greenwich Village. In 2009, he oversaw the IFC Center’s expansion to a five-screen theater.
The first company formed under IFC Films was IFC Productions, a feature film production company, in 1997. Critically acclaimed films from IFC Productions include: Kim Pierce’s Academy Award®-winning Boys Don’t Cry, Academy Award®-nominated films Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding and Peter Hedges’ Pieces of April, Richard Linklater’s Waking Life and Steven Soderbergh’s Gray’s Anatomy.
IFC Films’ past notable film projects include: Academy Award®-nominated In the Loop written and directed by Armando Ianucci and starring James Gandolfini (IFC Films distributed); Transamerica (IFC Films co-distributed); the highest grossing independent film on record at the time of its release and an Academy Award®-nominated film My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC Films distributed); Steven Soderbergh’s Cannes award-winning biopic CHE (IFC Films distributed); Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know (produced by IFC Productions and IFC Films distributed); foreign language hits such as the Academy Award®-nominated films Y Tu Mamá También, After the Wedding and Days of Glory (IFC Films distributed); Golden Globe®-nominated 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (IFC Films distributed); Fahrenheit 9/11 (IFC Films co-distributed), the highest grossing documentary film; Wim Winders’ Academy Award®-nominated documentary Pina(Sundance Selects distributed); Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Sundance Selects distributed), the highest grossing independently released documentary of 2011; 2012 Cannes award-winning Beyond the Hills (Sundance Selects distributed); as well as genre hits such as Tom Six’s horror series The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) and Lars Von Trier’s Cannes prize winner Antichrist (IFC Midnight).
Prior to IFC Films, Sehring oversaw all programming and production activities for Bravo and The Independent Film Channel. In this role, he was responsible for creating and launching several award-winning shows and series, including Bravo’s Emmy® Award-nominated series Inside the Actors Studio and CableACE Award-winning series The South Bank Show, and IFC’s CableACE Award-winning profile of Sam Fuller The Typewriter, The Rifle and The Movie Camera. He also served as executive producer on critically acclaimed IFC originals such as John Favreau’s Dinner for Five, Isaac Julien’s Baaadassss Cinema, Albert Maysle’s With the Filmmaker, Adam Simon’s The American Nightmare and Errol Morris’ First Person. Prior to joining Bravo, Sehring was Director of Programming for Janus Films, Inc., where he worked in various positions in both distribution and production.
Sehring is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the International Arts Advisory Committee of the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio. He is the recipient of the Chevalier of Arts and Letters, awarded by the French government, the Sarasota Film Festival’s Filmmakers’ Tribute Excellence in Producing Award, the Woodstock Film Festival’s Industry Maverick Award and an IFP Gotham Tribute Award.