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Ex-Focus Features Chief Launches Distribution Company

Andrew Karpen, the former co-CEO of Focus Features, has launched an independent finance and distribution company called Bleecker Street. Financed by Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-hour Energy, Bleecker Street will be based in New York City and release three to five pictures in 2015, expanding over time. Karpen will serve as the company’s CEO.

Bleecker Street has already secured an output deal with Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures, and will handle U.S. distribution on all of its films, effective immediately.  These include “Danny Collins,” starring starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner and directed by Dan Fogelman (writer of “Crazy, Stupid, Love”); “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella and Kathryn Hahn; and “Trumbo,” directed by Jay Roach (“Meet the Parents”) and starring Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane and Elle Fanning.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the work of great filmmakers into the marketplace and I couldn’t be more excited to be launching this new company in New York City,” Karpen said. “Bleecker Street will be well positioned to distribute films on a platform or national basis, whatever best suits each title.”

Karpen joined Focus Features as its chief operating officer in 2002 and was promoted to company president four years later. He assumed the role of co-CEO in 2012, when he oversaw the release of “Dallas Buyers Club,” “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Moonrise Kingdom,” to name a few.

The company is expected to make additional staffing announcements later this fall and Karpen plans to attend the Toronto Film Festival to scout new films.

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