Paul Gardner to head distribution company

Rich Goldberg and Marc Greenberg are launching Lightning Media — a U.S. distribution company to be headed by former Artisan and Lionsgate exec Paul Gardner.

Distrib is an operating division of Lightning Entertainment Group, which is also the parent company of international sales agent Lightning Entertainment and Lightning Home Entertainment.

Gardner will serve as co-president of Lightning Media with Goldberg.

Lightning Media has inked a multiplatform distribution deal with Anchor Bay Entertainment, whereby Anchor Bay will release up to 12 titles per year from Lightning Media over the next two years. The first films in the deal include the mixed martial arts feature “The Scorpion” and the 2007 comedy “Tortilla Heaven,” starring George Lopez.

Barbara Javitz has been tapped VP of operations at Lightning Media. She is joining Lightning from Union Station Media.

Lightning will be looking for fare to bolster the company’s distribution pipelines at the Cannes Film Festival.

Goldberg said launching Lightning Media “provides leverage in securing broader distribution rights for feature films and strategically makes a great deal of sense as the company looks to capitalize on developing digital platforms.”

Before joining Lightning Media, Gardner was president of Union Station Media, a joint venture between Arclight Films Intl. and Alliance Films.

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