Sehring has led IFC Films for two decades, making the brand synonymous with high-quality, auteur-driven filmmaking
New York, NY (November 28, 2018) – IFC Films’ Co-President Jonathan Sehring, a pioneering figure in independent film, has decided to depart the company following an accomplished, decades-long tenure.
“I’ve been contemplating this move for several years and on the 20th anniversary of our launching IFC Films, it just felt like the right time,” said Sehring. “I am forever grateful to Jim Dolan and Chuck Dolan, Marc Lustgarten and Josh Sapan for the unbelievable opportunities they afforded me since I joined the organization nearly 40 years ago. I have had two incredible careers at AMC Networks, 20 years in film and 20 years in television, and I am immensely proud of the films and television shows we produced and distributed, the brands we built, the businesses we launched and all that we have accomplished during my time with the organization.”
“If there’s a Hall of Fame for independent film, a big name on that list would be Jonathan Sehring. He is one of a handful of people who ushered in and breathed life into what we now commonly call ‘independent film,’ one of the great American art forms of our time,” said Josh Sapan, CEO of AMC Networks, IFC Films’ parent company.
Under Sehring’s direction, IFC Films (its sister distribution labels Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, its production label IFC Productions and the IFC Center) has been behind some of the most culturally impactful and successful independent film and documentary releases of all time, including in recent years Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, an IFC Production that the company financed over 12 years, was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and is considered a landmark in independent cinema; as well as Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin, Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, and the political documentary Weiner; in addition to notable earlier releases and productions including Y Tu Mama Tambien, Boys Don’t Cry, Monsoon Wedding, Touching the Void, the highest grossing documentary of all time Fahrenheit 9/11, as well as the second highest grossing indie of all time, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
A steadfast champion of original artistic voices, Sehring and the current IFC Films management team expanded the audience for independent film beyond the arthouse by revolutionizing indie film distribution through the introduction in 2006 of the day-and-date-release model — releasing films simultaneously in theaters and on-demand — that has since become established industry standard.
With an ability to recognize emerging talent early on in their careers, Sehring has led IFC Films in supporting a wide range of artists by producing or distributing their first films, including Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen, Karyn Kusama, Peter Hedges, John Krasinski, Greta Gerwig, Lena Dunham, Kimberly Peirce, Paul Dano and Christopher Nolan.
Sehring also oversaw the design and construction of the IFC Center, an arthouse theater that opened in Greenwich Village in 2005, marking IFC Films’ first foray into film exhibition. Today, in addition to being a vital and essential part of New York City’s independent film landscape, the IFC Center launched and operates DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival which just completed its ninth year.
Prior to leading IFC Films, Sehring spent 20 years on AMC Networks’ television businesses, where he oversaw programming and production activities for the Bravo cable channel (it was later sold to NBCUniversal), the IFC cable channel (Sehring was part of the team that launched the channel in 1994) and was part of the team that launched AMC (formerly called American Movie Classics) in 1984.
Following Sehring’s departure at the end of the year, IFC Films will be led by longtime executives Co-President Lisa Schwartz, who will continue in her current role overseeing IFC Films’ operations and strategy, and identifying and creating strategic partnerships; Arianna Bocco, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions, who will continue to lead all film acquisitions for the company; and John Vanco, who will continue in his role as Senior Vice President/General Manager of the IFC Center.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform.
Recent releases include WILDLIFE directed by Paul Dano and starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal, Lars Von Trier’s THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT starring Matt Dillon and BLAZE directed by Ethan Hawke. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, MONSOON WEDDING, PIECES OF APRIL, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.