Networks:

The Independent Film Channel Forms Theatrical Distribution Company-IFC Films

Bob Berney Joins IFC to Head New Company as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Distribution

The Independent Film Channel today announced the launch of IFC Films, a new theatrical film distribution company under its IFC Entertainment Division, which is headed by IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring and reports to Bravo Networks/IFC President Kathleen Dore. Assuming day-to-day responsibility for running the new IFC distribution arm will be Bob Berney, a highly-respected, 20-year film industry veteran who joins IFC Films as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution.

Based in New York, the new theatrical distribution company initially will release 10-12 films per year, building a slate of titles from an aggressive acquisitions program and selected in-house productions. The company will be actively pursuing acquisitions at a variety of film festivals in late Fall 2000.

"Launching a distribution company was the next logical step for IFC, which has developed a solid reputation for creating the independent films the network so clearly showcases," commented Dore. She added, "From television to the internet, IFC is devoted to expanding the independent film experience on every level, and the formation of IFC Films poises the company to provide access to ensure that these films find a significant audience."

Sehring remarked: "There has been an alarming exodus of the major independent distributors releasing smaller independent films. Most of the studios’ ‘classics’ divisions seem intent on emulating Miramax, focusing on bigger budgeted productions with high-profile casts. The smaller independent distributors operating out there simply cannot afford to provide the necessary support required to ensure the success of the numerous well made, smaller films seeking distribution. There exists a dramatic void in the distribution of independent films. With IFC’s — and Bravo’s — ability to reach a large portion of the audience which is interested in independent film, as well as the various corporate relationships which we enjoy with Rainbow, Cablevision, Clearview Cinemas and our recent venture with iFilm, we are confident we can successfully fill the void which currently exists."

Berney said: "This is one of those rare opportunities to join a successful organization and a truly independent film company with a proven track record of making filmmaker-driven products. IFC Films will build upon that reputation and success by opening the door to film acquisitions and supporting a slate of films with bold theatrical marketing and release campaigns."

Berney joins IFC from
Inwood Films, which he launched in 1999 to handle distribution of several films, including "The Woman Chaser," "Return With Honor" and "Animal Factory." He also served as an independent producer’s representative and marketing consultant on several films, including "The Opportunists" and "Kitchen Privileges."

Before forming Inwood,
Berney released Todd Solondz’ critically acclaimed film, "Happiness," under the Good Machine Releasing banner. He also was a marketing and distribution executive for several independent companies, including Banner Entertainment, Orion Pictures, Triton Pictures and FilmDallas. Titles with which he was involved include "A Brief History of Time," "I Shot Andy Warhol," "Hearts of Darkness," "Jeffrey" and "Ulee’s Gold."

Berney got his start in the business in the exhibition arena, working first for American Multi Cinema and then as an independent exhibitor. He owned and operated the Inwood Theatre in Dallas a venerable art house.

A division of Bravo
Networks, IFC Entertainment, under The
Independent Film Channel films division,
consists of IFC Productions, a feature film
production company, Next Wave Films, a finishing
fund company, and IFC Originals, which produces
original programming for the network. IFC
Productions is dedicated to helping filmmakers
realize their vision as well as creating feature
films for theatrical distribution. It already
has four major theatrical releases to its credit
Steven Soderbergh’s Gray’s
Anatomy
, John Sayles’ Men With
Guns
, Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry
and Errol Morris’ Mr.
Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter,
Jr
. Fall releases are set for two
additional titles,
Girlfight and
Songcatcher
. In addition, IFC Productions includes InDigEnt, a digital initiative that produces digital films.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial?free. IFC is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.

Contact:

Kim
Becker
(516) 803-4543
Mark Braff
(201) 797-8182