Greenstein new co-prez at October

NEW YORK — As anticipated, Scott Greenstein has joined specialized film company October Films as co-president alongside partners Bingham Ray and John Schmidt, October said Wednesday (Daily Variety, July 8).

Greenstein comes to October from indie heavyweight Miramax Films, where he spent four years and was most recently senior VP of motion pictures, music, new media and publishing. Before joining Miramax in 1993, Greenstein was a vice president at Viacom Intl.

Greenstein’s arrival, coupled with Universal Pictures’ recent acquisition of a majority stake in October, sets the stage for the company to become a formidable competitor to Miramax, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co.

Commenting on Greenstein’s hire, Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silver said, “We are pleased that October Films has chosen to bring Scott on board. As October aggressively expands its acquisition and production businesses, we are confident that Scott will serve as a major catalyst for growth.”

Greenstein fills a vacancy in October’s management triumvirate created last month when Amir Malin ankled to become co-president of Live Entertainment.

Greenstein’s experience in negotiating contracts in a wide variety of media will help October diversify beyond its traditional business of distributing arthouse films such as Mike Leigh’s “Career Girls,” Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves” and Matthew Harrison’s upcoming “Kicked in the Head.”

Under the terms of October’s agreement with Universal, October will maintain offices in New York and Los Angeles and will acquire, create, market and distribute films nationally and internationally.

Universal will take over the distribution of October’s films in ancillary markets such as free and pay TV and homevideo when its existing agreements expire.

To facilitate its expansion into foreign markets, October recently announced the formation of a joint venture with Good Machine Intl. to exclusively handle international sales for both companies. The new effort will be headed by Good Machine Intl. prexy David Linde, a former Miramax Intl. sales exec.

The collaboration between the two companies has also extended into production and distribution. October recently agreed to finance and distribute the new untitled film from “Welcome to the Dollhouse” helmer Todd Solondz, which is being produced by Ted Hope of Good Machine and Christine Vachon of Killer Films.

October and Good Machine Intl. will begin their sales efforts with two films screening in the official selection of this year’s Venice Film Festival — Jim Jarmusch’s Neil Young documentary “The Year of the Horse” and Hillary Brougher’s “The Sticky Fingers of Time.”

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