Unapix’s offspring

Company launches theatrical distrib

NEW YORK — Unapix Entertainment has created a theatrical distribution division called Unapix Films Theatrical and has tapped former senior exec VP of Stratosphere Entertainment Richard Abramowitz prexy of the new entity.

Under Abramowitz, UFT aims to distribute six films over the next 12 months. Abramowitz is already looking at several films for acquisition with the goal of acquiring four to five to release by this summer. Unapix’s expansion into the marketing and distribution of films will help lay the foundation for Unapix to become a mini-studio, he said.

“Part of the reason for establishing this new division is to attract a different level of material,” Abramowitz told Daily Variety. “Unapix is a company that has previously thrived from video, which is very genre driven. Theatrical distribution is less genre oriented and more specialized. If we are successful releasing films, it will help bring in a whole other product into this realm. Unapix is a vibrant young operation. This is a hospitable environment to carry out the plan together,” he added.

Leverage expertise

“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Richard Abramowitz’s ability and proven track record to lead the company into this exciting new area,” Unapix Films prexy Robert Barue said. “Theatrical distribution will enable us to leverage our marketing expertise and broaden our film base as we continue to attract higher profile films.”

At Stratosphere Entertainment, Abramowitz handled the releases of “Six Ways to Sunday,” starring Debbie Harry, Adrien Brody and Norman Reedus, and Joan Chen’s directorial debut “Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl.” Abramowitz left Stratosphere in January just as the company pacted with Samuel Goldwyn Films and CanWest, parent of Seven Arts Entertainment, to form an independent distribution company.

Prior to joining Stratosphere, Abramowitz was exec VP of marketing and distribution at Cinecom Entertainment. Before that, he was prexy of RKO Pictures Distribution and head of the nontheatrical department at MGM/UA.

Unapix is a global entertainment company that distributes, produces and licenses films, television programming and homevideo. In association with Tapestry Films and Myriad Pictures, Unapix is producing the thriller “Conspiracy,” starring Rachael Leigh Cook.

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