Tim Swain to lead domestic distribution unit

Foreign sales vet New Films Intl. is entering the U.S. theatrical distribution market, hiring longtime indie distrib exec Tim Swain to head the new division.

He’ll be working with New Films chief content officer Ron Gell on acquiring films for distribution in both the U.S. and foreign markets.

Releases will initially come from New Films’ foreign slate. First out of the gate, likely in September, will be Timothy Hutton-Alessandro Nivola starrer “Turning Green,” a drama set in 1970s Ireland that made the fest rounds. Alejandro Chomski’s “A Beautiful Life,” with Dana Delany and Debi Mazar, will follow.

New Films is looking to tap into the underserved indie market that has made it tough for smaller titles to secure theatrical release in the last few years.

“Not everything can go straight to online distribution,” Gell said. “We want to go after festival-driven, high-quality, cast-driven indie films that have been falling through the cracks. Typically, we would start out small and have the potential to go wide, self-funding the P&A in a thrifty way.”

Gell adds that New Films is in talks with studios to handle domestic homevideo and TV on their titles.

The 30-year-old Sherman Oaks-based company, headed by prexy Nesim Hason, started out as a distrib for Eastern Europe and Turkey and then expanded into international sales, production and financing. Among the pics repped overseas by New Films Intl. are 2003′s “Off the Map” and 2005′s “The Dying Gaul.”

Swain spent nine years at Trimark, where he rose to exec VP of domestic distribution. Most recently, as a distribution consultant, Swain helped release pics such as HBO’s “Dim Sum Funeral.”

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