Duda due for added duty in Showtime distribution

Exec to take on responsibilities after Keramidas departs

NEW YORK — Showtime has given Matthew Duda, executive VP of program acquisitions and planning, the additional job of distributing the network’s shows in foreign and domestic distribution, covering both TV and homevideo.

Duda takes over these distribution duties from Peter Keramidas, a 10-year Showtime executive VP of programming, who will leave the company as of Feb. 1.

Keramidas negotiated the deal with Sony Pictures Classics for the theatrical release of the Showtime-financed “Getting’ the Man’s Foot Outta Your Baadasssss!” at next week’s Sundance Film Festival.

Keramidas also engineered the deal with Showtime’s sister company Blockbuster for video distribution of Showtime originals through 2006.

Duda’s new role will become important, said Bob Greenblatt, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks, because Showtime plans to greenlight as many as eight independent movies over the next year, under the umbrella title Showtime Independent Films.

Duda will try to find theatrical distributors for all of these indie movies, whose average budget will come in at about $1 million, which is about one-sixth the cost of an original movie commissioned by Showtime for a world premiere on the network.

“We want to expand into all of the ancillary markets that we can,” said Greenblatt. These markets, he added, could end up funneling tens of millions of dollars a year to the company.

Duda is the right man for the job, Greenblatt said, because, during his 20-year career at Showtime he has negotiated many of the theatrical-output deals, including those of Paramount, MGM and Dimension Films. He also buys the independent movies and library product to fill all of Showtime’s multiplex networks.

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