You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

October Machine-ready

Specialized film distrib near foreign sales deal

NEW YORK — October Films, the Gotham-based specialized film distributor that is majority-owned by Universal Studios, is expected to announce shortly that Good Machine Inc. will become its exclusive foreign sales agent.

October has generally acquired only the North American rights to arthouse films. An alliance with Good Machine would give it the ability to acquire worldwide rights and would also help the company generate additional revenues and offset risk as it moves into production.

Both Miramax Films and New Line Cinema — the leaders in the specialized film business —have separate foreign sales divisions.

Founded by James Schamus and Ted Hope, Good Machine is best known for producing the films of Ang Lee and Edward Burns.

The company has expanded its capabilities beyond producing, however. It recently attracted foreign sales exec David Linde away from Miramax and launched a producers service organization to finance, produce, sell and market pics on behalf of filmmakers such as Todd Solondz (“Welcome to the Dollhouse”) and Nicole Holofcener (“Walking and Talking”).

Renewed relationship

Before joining Good Machine, Linde held discussions about heading the foreign sales division that October was planning to start. October and Linde renewed their relationship earlier this year when the company agreed to distribute Solondz’ next project, which is being produced by Good Machine.

Good Machine, which has a first-look production deal with Twentieth Century Fox, was among those interviewed by Paramount vice chairman Rob Friedman in his search for a team to run the studio’s new classics division.

Sources close to Good Machine said that Hope, Schamus and Linde were no longer in the running for the Paramount classics job.

The alliance with Good Machine is part of a major overhaul that has been occurring since Universal agreed to acquire 51% of the company earlier this year. October co-managing director Amir Malin recently ankled to become co-president of Live Entertainment.

Former Miramax senior vice president Scott Greenstein is expected to be named as Malin’s replacement. Greenstein will become part of a triumvirate that includes co-managing directors Bingham Ray and John Schmidt, another Miramax veteran.

Also on October’s drawing board is a new genre division designed to mimic Miramax’s Dimension banner, which hit paydirt with Wes Craven’s “Scream” and other films. Like New Line in the 1980s, Miramax has found the arthouse/haunted house combination to be a winning formula.

In 1996, October moved up in the league of arthouse distribs by scoring critical and financial success with such releases as Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves” and Mike Leigh’s “Secrets & Lies.”

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content