×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trio hangs Street shingle

New distrib to specialize in African-American pics

Entertainment attorneys Leroy Bobbitt and Virgil Roberts have teamed up with veteran film distribution exec Milton Goldstein to form a distribution company, StreetSmart Pictures, that specializes in the release of African-American films.

Based in Los Angeles, StreetSmart aims to release at least five pictures a year targeted at the top seven markets with the largest African-American audiences — New York, L.A., Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Bobbitt and Roberts will serve as co-chairmen of the company, with Goldstein serving as the chief operating officer and handling marketing and distribution.

Shingle, bankrolled by unnamed private investors, will commit limited P&A to titles that will be released by a network of regional subdistributors assembled by Goldstein.

Full-service op

It will operate as a full-service distribution company encompassing theatrical, pay TV, homevideo, pay cable and foreign sales. Deals will also be struck for broadcast TV and soundtrack participation where appropriate on specific titles.

No titles have been announced, but the primary source of product is expected to be supplied by independent African-American producers with the focus on indie fare and product traditionally not acquired or released by the major studios.

The company is also expecting to seek ongoing relationships with young African-American producers to provide a continuing flow of product for its distribution pipeline.

Research-based

“Our research has shown that African-American films will gain optimum financial returns by targeting initial releases to the seven markets with the largest African-American audiences,” Bobbit said, adding that the company has the flexibility to expand to selected theaters in the top 25 metropolitan areas in North America.

The company will not invest directly into film production but will partner with producers and work directly with them on fully financed product, enabling theatrical exposure for films that currently have no theatrical home and thus hoping to maximize these titles potential for ancillary sales.

Some background info

Bobbitt, a former partner at Loeb & Loeb in L.A. after joining the firm in 1974, repped such clients at the law firm as Paramount Pictures, NATPE Intl., the African National Congress, the NAACP Image Awards and Interscope Communications.

Roberts began his legal career in 1972 with the law firm Pacht, Ross where he repped such clients as Bill Cosby, Dionne Warwick, Berry Gordy and Motown Records.

He formed his own private practice and then joined Solar Records in 1981 as president. Solar helped launch the songwriting and producing careers of Jimmy “Jam” and Terry Lewis, Antonio “LA” Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. He was also involved in developing the careers of such acts as the Whispers, Midnight Star and Shalamar.

In 1996 Bobbitt and Roberts formed their own entertainment law practice specializing in film, music, licensing and merchandising.

Goldstein’s resume

Goldstein, a 40-year distribution, sales and marketing veteran, spent 15 years at Paramount Pictures where he rose to foreign sales manager for the studio. He then became VP of the Samuel Bronston Organization, where he was one of pioneers championing the notion of preselling films on a territory-by-territory basis in the international marketplace.

In 1971 he was appointed president of Cinema Center Films, then the theatrical arm of CBS. From 1977-85 he worked for Melvin Simon Prods., becoming the company’s president and chief operating officer, responsible for such films as “Love at First Bite,” “When a Stranger Calls” and “Porky’s.”

He has served as a producer’s rep for “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Claudine,” and for the last 15 years headed his own consulting firm for the entertainment business.

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content