Price is right for spot at Independent

Pact has exec treading New Line

Indie film vet Ray Price has joined Cary Woods’ Independent Pictures as its head of marketing and distribution.

Price — who Sunday quit his post as senior vice president of Trimark Pictures’ specialized theatrical division — will oversee all aspects of theatrical distribution, marketing, promotions and publicity for the nascent film production and distribution company.

Independent, which is headquartered in Gotham, also has offices in Los Angeles, where Price will be based.

Woods launched Independent in May with $30 million in secured capital, including an injection of $10 million from New Line Cinema.

In return, New Line or its specialty division Fine Line gets all U.S. rights to a minimum of four Independent pics a year.

Independent, which retains all overseas rights to its films, will also control their domestic marketing and distribution. Thus, Price is likely to be working closely with New Line and Fine Line execs.

According to Woods, if Independent makes more than four films a year, he and Price will arrange their domestic distribution on a pic-by-pic basis.

Prior to forming Independent, Woods had a three-year production deal with Miramax/Dimension, during which time he was a producer on top-grossers “Cop Land” and “Scream,” among other pics.

However, the producer’s credits also include “Kids,” “Swingers” and “Gummo,” and that’s the sort of niche, left-field fare that Price is commonly associated with.

During his tenure at Trimark, for example, Price was an advocate of Mira Nair’s “Kama Sutra.” When he worked at indie distrib First Look Pictures, his campaign for the French-Vietnamese co-production “The Scent of Green Papaya” helped earn it a nomination for best foreign-language film.

“Both Ray and I have our own track records,” explained Woods. “I have made films that would be naturals for Ray, and other (bigger ones) that he’s never had the chance to handle.

“But,” he added, “I believe that marketing is an innate ability, and Ray has the taste and intelligence to work on all types of films.”

Prior to Trimark, Price worked at the Samuel Goldwyn Co. He was a co-founder of First Look, which is a division of Overseas Filmgroup.

“I have always received the most satisfaction in my career out of building something,” said Price. “Working with someone with an entrepreneurial spirit like Cary Woods is an opportunity that I could not let pass.”

Woods has not made any production announcements at Independent yet. However, he is developing a feature about the musical prodigy DeWitt White, with Jamal Joseph scripting. And, at last week’s Toronto, he made his first acquisition of a finished pic, picking up U.S. and U.K. rights to Bruce McCulloch’s “Dog Park” from Lions Gate Films.

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