Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films’ Dimension label, has formed Walden Media, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Co.
The education-oriented shingle, based in Gotham, will create a gamut of content in all media, including television, cable, film, giant-screen films, publishing and new media.
“Forming Walden Media fulfills a long-term dream of mine,” said Granat. “I have spent the last 12 years engaging audiences with general entertainment product but have always wanted to find a way to ignite a sense of fascination, discovery and wonderment through the marriage of entertainment and education.”
Founder-CEO Granat is joined by veteran educational innovator Michael Flaherty (co-founder and president), and their third partner, Digital Planet co-founder Joshua Greer (chief convergence officer). Rounding out the company’s exec team is former Miramax and Jean Doumanian Prods. exec John Logigian (chief operating officer), and Emmy-award-winning producer Joel Stillerman (exec veep of film and television).
Company is developing properties and programs that will be leveraged across all platforms.
Most film and television projects will be supported by a full curriculum aligned with educational standards, a comprehensive Web site to encourage further exploration and satisfy curiosity, community outreach programs and publishing initiatives designed to heighten the relevancy of the material.
While at Dimension, Granat worked directly for Bob Weinstein to oversee a roster known for its trend-setting content and enormous box office success worldwide, including the blockbuster “Scream” franchise and the Wayans brothers’ urban hits, including “Scary Movie.” Most recently, Granat shared exec producer credit with Bob and Harvey Weinstein on Dimension’s “Spy Kids.”
Prior to joining Dimension, Granat served as an exec at MCA/Universal, overseeing the development and production of such pics as “Babe.”
As company prexy, Flaherty will guide Walden’s vision across all business units. He co-founded the Frederick Douglass Charter School in Boston and was charged by that city’s board of education with designing materials that would improve students’ test scores in poor school districts.
Flaherty was a speechwriter for former Massachusetts Senate prexy William M. Bulger. He also designed and authored education software “Inside the GMAT.”
Greer was co-founder of Digital Planet, the company behind more than 300 sites for pics such as “Apollo 13,” “12 Monkeys,” “Casper” and “Stargate.”
Alongside veteran producer Jean Doumanian, Logigian oversaw the production of numerous Woody Allen films. With Doumanian, Logigian also produced Off Broadway plays and independent films such as “The Spanish Prisoner” and “Women Talking Dirty,” the forthcoming film co-produced by Elton John. Logigian previously served for four years as exec veep of Miramax Films. Prior to Miramax, he worked as an agent at ICM and in executive posts at Orion Pictures and United Artists.
Stillerman is a multiple Peabody, Humanitas and National Board of Review award-winning producer. Prior to joining Walden Media, Stillerman and director-producer Ted Demme formed Spanky Pictures, which produced films such as the current Johnny Depp/Penelope Cruz pic “Blow.” At MTV, he served for six years as the network’s veep of original programming, overseeing the development and production of the MTV Music Video Awards, MTV Movie Awards and “Unplugged” shows for Nirvana and Tony Bennett, among others.
The privately owned Denver-based Anschutz Co. is engaged in telecommunications and media, natural resources, transportation, real estate, sports and entertainment.