CANNES — Neil Friedman has partnered with former Columbia Pictures president Paula Silver to establish a worldwide sales and marketing arm for his management banner, Menemsha Entertainment.
The multifaceted Menemsha, which Friedman founded late last year, is also active in talent management, buyer representation and pic financing. It becomes one of the first L.A.-based management outfits to begin handling the worldwide sales and marketing of its pics.
Friedman will handle sales, and Silver, who becomes co-president of Menemsha, will oversee marketing.
“Paula provides something unique,” said Friedman. “She has the ability to sit down with domestic and international distributors’ marketing teams and give them a soft landing.”
On the ‘Train’
At Cannes, Menemsha is repping international sales of Radu Mihaileanu’s “Train of Life.” The Belgian-French co-production won the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “Train of Life” is a major hit in Italy, where it has garnered more than 400,000 admissions.
Menemsha has already sold the pic’s domestic rights to Paramount Classics. “We will be selling completed motion pictures worldwide, just like a sales agent,” Friedman said. “We plan to take on a few projects a year, generally highbrow movies, films that we’re passionate about.”
Menemsha is also repping worldwide rights to two documentaries, “Return With Honor” and “Hank Greenberg.”
“Greenberg,” directed by Aviva Kempner, is a portrait of the legendary Jewish baseball player who hit 58 home runs in a single season. “Honor,” shot in Vietnam and the U.S., follows the stories of American pilots who became POWs during the Vietnam conflict. Docu was directed by Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders. The pics have played at various U.S. festivals, including Sundance.
While an independent film agent at William Morris Agency, Friedman set up the financing for the Bruce Willis pic “Breakfast of Champions.” Friedman ankled WMA last year and established Menemsha.
Among Menemsha’s foreign distrib clients are Italy’s Filmauro and Germany’s Advanced Medien Group.