Lisa Schwartz, co-president of IFC Films, announced she will be stepping down from her role at the end of the year.
Schwartz, who led the independent film studio’s business strategy, distribution and strategic partnership, most recently spearheaded IFC’s streaming channel called IFC Films Unlimited. The newly created subscription-based platform is home to IFC favorites like “The Trip,” “45 Years” and “The Babdook.”
IFC Films has been one of the few studios to continue rolling out new movies during the pandemic, fielding modest COVID-era hits that were popular at drive-in theaters, like “The Wretched” “The Trip to Greece,” psychological thriller “Swallow,” and “How to Build a Girl” with Beanie Feldstein.
“In an extraordinary year like no other, extraordinary and innovative approaches were developed which kept IFC Films at the forefront of film distribution,” Schwartz said in a statement. “I’m very proud to have been a part of the leadership team that forged ahead and accomplished the incredible success the business has achieved, particularly over the past couple of years. I look forward to taking that spirit of innovation and creativity with me into my next chapter.”
Schwartz joined IFC Films in 2006, having previously worked as senior VP of national accounts for AMC Networks, the entertainment company that owns IFC. She’s held numerous positions within the company before landing at IFC Films and eventually becoming co-president.
“Lisa is an extraordinary business person who finds and creates value and business opportunities in a way that is quite rare,” said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks president and CEO. “I know her keen commercial instincts and creativity will lead her to do many more great things.”
At IFC Films, Schwartz led the development of the company’s Sundance Now subscription video-on-demand service, which launched in 2014. She also revolutionized IFC’s distribution strategy, one that sees new movies releasing simultaneously in theaters and on demand. Many rivals have adapted this model during the pandemic since a number of U.S. cinemas are still out of operation.
“Lisa has been instrumental in identifying and driving key revenue opportunities for IFC Films,” said Ed Carroll, AMC Networks chief operating officer. “Lisa was the chief architect behind IFC Films Unlimited, unlocking value from our library of acclaimed films and putting the service on an early path to success. She has been a great colleague and friend for many years and we will miss her smarts and creativity.”