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Kathy Dore

At a time when broadcast deals for indies remain tough, Dore is infusing cable TV with indie spirit. The newly crowned Rainbow Media entertainment services prexy has added cablers AMC and WE to her watch, and plans to spread the IFC wealth among her new wards. “We now have an opportunity to further respond to audiences’ desires to see independent films by using them selectively on our other national movie-based networks,” she says. “For example, IFC Films’ ‘Monsoon Wedding’ is a great fit for WE, just as the new classic ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ makes sense for AMC.” Dore hopes the trio will create a “national arthouse, where viewers have access to an entire category of films otherwise unavailable to them.”

—Denise Martin

Paola Freccero

Along with overseeing all film programming on the Sundance Channel, Freccero supervises two of the net’s most ambitious initiatives: the upcoming Sundance Film Series and Sundance Channel Home Entertainment, the newly created homevideo line. “Beneath all of the business, there are talented filmmakers and audiences hungry to appreciate their work,” says Freccero. “The idea that what I do in some way makes that connection happen is what motivates me to get up in the morning.”

–Matthew Ross

Amir Malin

Blood and Barbies have turned Artisan Home Entertainment into a serious profit center for the indie distrib. Thanks to a library with Carolco titles including “Rambo” and “Terminator 2,” and a family division that distributes kidvid best-sellers such as “Barbie in Swan Lake,” Artisan has upped profit and shed debt since Malin took his post as chairman and CEO three years ago. DVD bonus fact: Malin says the company sells 150,000 copies of “Dirty Dancing” every month.

–Dana Harris

Larry Meistrich

His year-old Film Movement, a subscription DVD service, has yet to win over the skeptics, but the former Shooting Gallery topper deserves credit for sticking to his business plan, offering filmmaker-friendly deals, and picking up quality arthouse pics such as Eric Eason’s fest fave “Manito.” “We see people every day who usually can’t get to the theater but want to see movies,” says Meistrich. “It’s not fair that they have to miss out, and we make sure they don’t.”

–Matthew Ross

Tanya York

Straight-to-vid guru’s York Entertainment hit $20 million in sales last year, distributing some 50 titles. With a knack for meeting the demands of niche vid markets well ahead of the curve, her inhouse hip-hop production, “Bling Bling,” reached No. 6 in video rentals in just two weeks. York debuted a foreign sales arm at Cannes and acquired Loose Cannon Film Prods. to up inhouse production from eight to 10 pics to a dozen a year. Her time-tested mantra: “We analyze the marketplace and then make films to meet the needs of the marketplace.”

–Jeff Sipe