Jim Orr joins FilmDistrict as distrib prexy

Move comes five months after Bob and Jeanne Berney ankle

Jim Orr has joined FilmDistrict as president of distribution, five months after Bob and Jeanne Berney announced their exit as the top distribution and marketing execs.

Orr, who held posts at Paramount and MGM, will oversee all aspects of FilmDistrict’s feature film distribution and will report directly to CEO Peter Schlessel. The move comes three weeks after FilmDistrict tapped DreamWorks exec Christine Birch as its marketing topper.

“His outstanding relationships with exhibitors, knowledge of the marketplace and years of experience in every aspect of distribution make him the perfect fit for our new team and our slate,” Schlessel said in a statement.

While at MGM, he oversaw release of “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “Valkyrie” and negotiated new deals with non-theatrical sub-distributors around the world. He was most recently president of Steamboat Rock Entertainment, where he consulted for Miramax, the anti-piracy technology company PirateEye and the social media-based portal Tugg.

FilmDistrict’s upcoming slate includes “Lockout,” (through Open Road) this weekend; “Safety Not Guaranteed” on June 8; “Looper,” in conjunction with Endgame Entertainment and Sony on Sept. 28; “Red Dawn” (through Open Road) on Nov. 2: “Playing the Field” on Dec. 25; and “Parker” on Jan. 25.

The company’s also reimagining “Evil Dead,” in conjunction with Ghost House Pictures and Sony and jas announced a sequel to “Insidious.”

Schlessel’s executive team includes Adrian Alperovich as president of acquisitions and operations and Lia Buman as exec VP of acquisitions.

The Berneys, who joined Graham King’s operation in 2010, continued handling FilmDistrict releases until March 1, including “The Rum Diary” and Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”

FilmDistrict saw success last year with “Insidious” and “Soul Surfer.” Summer releases “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and “Drive” saw modest-to-OK results.

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