New independent film distributors

Companies recently join domestic release biz

HQ: Los Angeles
Topper: Gregory Hatanaka
Backstory: Production and distrib company created by Hatanaka in the vein of ’70s label New World, Cinema Epoch finds a home for a slew of imports and Asian indie fare (“Asian Stories,” starring James Kyson Lee of NBC’s “Heroes”).
Upcoming: “The Pink Conspiracy” (Sept. 19), “The Palimpsest” (Nov.)

HQ: Beverly Hills
Topper: M.J. Peckos
Backstory: A 25-year marketing and distrib vet, Peckos, who formerly headed distrib Tartan USA, is handling a mix of mainly foreign pics that span all demos, from Argentina’s senior romance “Elsa and Fred” (grossed $159,000) to horror maestro Dario Argento’s “Mother of Tears” ($60,000).
Upcoming: “Ballast” (Oct. 1), “La Zona” (Q4), “Desert Within”(2009)

HQ: Vancouver, with regional offices in London and Culver City
Topper: Irwin Olian, CEO and chairman
Backstory: Few boutique U.S. indie distribs have overseas offices, making Neoclassic unique. Its first crop of English-language releases are from Canada, Australia and the U.K.
Upcoming: “Surviving Crooked Lake,” “The Black Balloon,” “St. Trinian’s”

HQ: New York
Toppers: Adam Yauch, David Fenkel, Dan Berger
Backstory: Beastie Boys member Yauch spun an indie film company out of his Oscilloscope recording studio with the help of former ThinkFilm execs Fenkel and Berger. With a focus on unique niche fare, label made its first pickup at Cannes with water crisis docu “Flow.” Distrib’s first release, Yauch’s docu “Gunnin’ for That No. 1 Spot,” about 24 high school basketball prodigies, bowed in June, grossing $51,000.
Upcoming: “Flow: For Love of Water” (Sept. 12), “Frontrunners” (Oct. 15), “Wendy and Lucy” (Dec. 10)

HQ: Toronto, N.Y., L.A.
Toppers: Gerry Noble, CEO; John Flock, prexy/ COO; Mara Di Pasquale, CFO
Backstory: Over the last year, this Canadian media company, which has home entertainment and TV (Showtime hit “The Tudors”) units, launched a theatrical distribution side. It released “Chapter 27” via Vitagraph, but handled another Sundance title “Delirious” solo. To date, distrib has cumed some $200,000 domestically.
Upcoming: “JCVD,” “Winged Creatures”

HQ: Universal City
Toppers: Tom O’Malley, prexy; Mike Doban, evp, distribution
Backstory: A unit of Universal Music Group and previously focused on homevid for four years, Vivendi announced its intentions to get into the theatrical biz in March. It made key hires to ramp up, and is sending acquisitions exec Yolanda Macias to shop titles in Toronto.
Upcoming: “An American Carol” (Oct. 3), “New York, I Love You” (Q1)