Shifting indie scene

Pics, execs lost or found in shuffle


“The Accidental Husband”

The Griffin Dunne-helmed Uma Thurman comedy sat on the Yari Film Group release slate for nearly two years, waiting to see the light of day in a commercial U.S. theater. But when financier/ producer Bob Yari’s fledgling distribution unit, YFG Releasing, stumbled after its first successful year — when it bowed “The Illusionist” to a cume of $40 million — the division was forced into bankruptcy. “Husband” did get released in Europe, Asia and Latin America, thanks to sales Yari made to territorial distribs, but the film is still in limbo Stateside.

“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”

First shown at 2006’s Toronto fest, where the Weinstein Co. snapped up worldwide rights to the teen horror-thriller for more than $3 million, pic was set for release in July 2007. But the Weinsteins went soft on “Mandy” and sold off U.S. theatrical rights to Senator U.S., which promised an early 2008 release on more than 1,000 screens. Later, a planned early summer release was scrapped as Senator couldn’t raise the P&A for its slate and lost its distribution head, Mark Urman. Sources say the film could still receive a small release or be sold again.

“Brooklyn’s Finest”

At Sundance this year, Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest,” with Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke, was widely considered one of the most commercial properties for sale at the fest. Pic was received less than enthusiastically, but Senator U.S. made a major play for it, paying mid-seven figures for the “work-in-progress” and committing eight figures to marketing plus a fourth-quarter slot. Fuqua edited the film at Senator and lost the film’s controversial ending. But when Senator’s P&A funds didn’t come through, “Brooklyn” went hunting for another home that’s capable of a $25 million marketing commitment. With a screening slot at Venice, the film may find new life.


Bob Berney

Distribution maven Berney has had many lives in the indie biz. From his early days in exhibition to successful runs at distribs IFC Films, Newmarket and Picturehouse, the man with the golden touch is back in business — this time with deep-pocketed partner and producer Bill Pohlad under the Apparition banner. He’s wasted no time filling his 2009 theatrical slate, which already boasts five films, including Jane Campion’s “Bright Star” and Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.”

Mark Urman

Indie marketing veteran and ThinkFilm founder briefly found a home at new distrib Senator U.S. after Think was effectively shuttered when parent Capitol stopped paying bills. Then, when Senator was unable to find P&A for its slate this year, Urman set up his own shop. He formed Paladin in July, gathered several ex-Think colleagues and is prepping a slate that includes Bryce Dallas Howard starrer “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” and “Disgrace,” with John Malkovich.

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