Gilbert and Horowitz: ‘Right’ way to kick off busy year

10 Producers to Watch

Mary Burke | Canning & Sherman | Roman Coppola | Gilbert & Horowitz | Mario Gianani | Darlene Caamano Loquet | Felts & Berfield | Rob Paris | Quad | David Guy Levy

Going into Sundance in January, Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz of Gilbert Films knew they would leave as film fest villains or heroes.

As producers of “The Kids Are All Right,” the pair pushed those involved not to sign a deal with the now-defunct Overture Films prior to the fest.

“Everyone at the time, due to the dismal climate, wanted to go in with having a domestic distributor in place,” Gilbert says. “Jordan and I just felt like we could do better if we premiered at Sundance and then tried to find a distributor that would make a more of a lucrative deal and get the film out to the public in a bigger way than the deal that was on the table.”

The risk paid off, and the film sold to Focus Features for a reported $4.8 million and has grossed $20.8 million domestically to date.

Just after Gilbert’s first project as a producer, “Garden State,” premiered at Sundance six years ago, he hired Horowitz to be his assistant. Today Horowitz serves as shingle’s VP of production and development while Gilbert is CEO.

Under their three-person banner, it has produced and arranged financing on upcoming releases including Angel Gracia’s “From Prada to Nada” (Lionsgate), Keith Bearden’s “Meet Monica Velour” (Anchor Bay) and Michael Burke’s “Right Angle,” which is in production.

“We have to love the material,” Horowitz says. “(Our decision process) comes from the gut, or an emotional place, which is a good way to operate especially in the world of independent film.”

Age: Gilbert: 46; Horowitz: 30
Provenance: Gilbert: Detroit; Horowitz: Westchester, N.Y.
Inspired by: Gilbert: Sydney Pollack; Horowitz: “Back to the Future” and “Back to the Future Part II”: “The excitement both of those movies created was like nothing I had ever experienced.”

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