Indies’ revolving door

Greenstein nears October; Malin huddles with Live

NEW YORK — In what appears to be a shakeup on the specialized film front, Miramax Films senior vice president Scott Greenstein is said to be in negotiations to replace October Films co-managing executive Amir Malin.

Malin is expected to segue to Live Entertainment, where he will be part of a top management team that sources close to the company said will also include International Creative Management West Coast head of operations Bill Block.

Live chairman Roger Burlage told Daily Variety he was not aware of any management changes at the indie, which was recently acquired by an investors’ group headed by Bain Capital.

“As far as I know, I’m still running this company,” Burlage said.

Greenstein, a hard-driving executive known as one of the few Miramax execs who could keep pace with co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein, would only confirm that he is leaving Miramax at the expiration of his contract.

He told Daily Variety, “The last four years at Miramax gave me the privilege to work with two of most creative filmmakers and inventive businessmen in Bob and Harvey Weinstein. During these past four years, Miramax was not a job but my home.”

Greenstein’s departure from Miramax was revealed last week after he informed the Weinstein brothers that he did not plan to renew his contract as senior VP of motion pictures, music, new media and publishing (Daily Variety, July 3).

Sources close to Greenstein said he wants to leave because he has risen as high in the Miramax corporate ranks as he can. They said Greenstein’s deal was not done, but that he is expected to become part of the October management team along with co-managing execs Bingham Ray and John Schmidt.

Neither Malin nor Block would comment.

Block’s entrepreneurial activities have included a four-year run as head of his own tenpercentery, InterTalent, which was merged with ICM in 1992, as well as an interactive venture with Gallic media giant Havas.

It is unclear what role Block will play at Live or how the move might affect ICM.

Bain Capital is expected to close its acquisition of Live this week. The Boston-based investment firm is being advised on its entertainment acquisitions by ICM, sources said.

Bain’s October bid

Bain was also a bidder for October, and Malin was known to be intrigued by the potential of Live’s video library. Universal Pictures has since acquired a majority interest in the Gotham-based distrib of such arthouse hits as “Secrets & Lies,” “Breaking the Waves” and “The Last Seduction.”

At October, Malin was jointly responsible for acquisitions along with Ray and supervised ancillary rights. He also served as president and CEO of Millennium Pictures, a joint venture with Nu Image Inc. under which October distributes all of Nu Image’s genre product in North America. Schmidt supervises the company’s financial and strategic affairs, while Ray handles distribution and marketing.

October was founded in 1990 by Ray and Jeff Lipsky, who later left the company to direct the 1996 feature “Childhood’s End.” After recruiting Malin, the former president and co-CEO of Cinecom Entertainment Group, and Schmidt, the former chief financial officer of Miramax, October was able to attract equity investments from Wall Street firms such as Allen & Co. and Siegler, Collery & Co.

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