Co. adds distrib exex to Gotham offices

NEW YORK — Picturehouse, the recently launched joint venture of HBO Films and New Line, is shoring up its distribution staff under division head Bob Berney.

Company on Friday named Rob Schwartz as chief operating officer, Bill Thompson and John Lange as senior veeps and co-general sales managers and Crystal King as veep of marketing operations.

The execs are all based in the company’s Gotham offices.

“This talented group of executives realize that exhibition is a great partner, and have the relationships that will enable Picturehouse to reach the widest audience possible,” Berney said.

Schwartz, Thompson and King follow Berney to Picturehouse from Newmarket Films. Trio’s Newmarket tenure spanned such pics as “Whale Rider,” “Monster” and “The Passion of the Christ.”

Schwartz also worked for Berney at IFC Films on such pics as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Y tu mama tambien.”

Thompson previously held posts at USA Films, Gramercy Pictures and Miramax Films as well as exhibitors City Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, Walter Read and Cinema 5 Theaters.

Lange formerly was prexy of Lange Film Releasing, a division of Illinois-based Lange & Associates. He previously worked with Berney on pics including “Memento,” “Y tu mama,” “Whale Rider” and “Monster.”

King began her career at MGM as a film booker. She also held positions at Embassy Pictures, Cannon Releasing, UA and DreamWorks in booking, cashiering and exhibitor relations. Before joining Newmarket in 2002, she was VP of exhibitor relations at Miramax for nearly nine years.

Also onboard, Berney said, are Tom Hassell and Dan Lange, both as distribution veeps.

Picturehouse, which formally launched its brand name in Cannes, has a slate that includes Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days,” Paul Reiser’s “The Thing About My Folks” and Steven Shainberg’s Diane Arbus-inspired “Fur.”

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