First Look taps O’Connor

Dennis O’Connor has been named VP of domestic marketing and distribution for First Look Pictures.

In addition, Mark Matthews has joined the company as national print controller-booker.

O’Connor, who comes to First Look from Trimark Pictures, will oversee theatrical distribution at the L.A.-based indie. He reports to M.J. Peckos, senior VP of domestic marketing and distribution.

O’Connor replaces former distribution VP Suzanne LeRoy, who recently left to join Polygram Films.

O’Connor will also be involved with the marketing of First Look releases, along with Peckos and Erica Potter, VP of marketing and publicity.

“In a small company, it really makes sense to look for people that have done a little bit of everything,” Peckos said. “He’s got great taste in film and a fabulous sense of how to strategically place a picture in the marketplace.”

Upcoming First Look releases include “Different for Girls,” starring Rupert Graves and Steven Mackintosh; “Slaves to the Underground”; and “Mrs. Dalloway,” from “Antonia’s Line” helmer Marleen Gorris.

Before joining First Look, O’Connor served for a year and a half as director of Trimark’s specialized division. While there, he was involved in the acquisition and release of Mira Nair’s “Kama Sutra,” among other arthouse films.

Before that, he was head of marketing and distribution for Strand Releasing, where he was responsible for the successful reissue of Russ Meyer’s “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!,” as well as the release of Andre Techine’s “Wild Reeds.”

Before joining Strand, O’Connor was a film buyer for Landmark Theaters. He began his career at the Samuel Goldwyn Co.

Matthews was most recently booker and print controller for Legacy Releasing. Before that, he was a distribution consultant at Republic Entertainment, where he co-ordinated the theatrical release of “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored.”

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