Andrew Karpen has a word for the kinds of films he wants to see and likes to release through Bleecker Street, the indie distribution company he founded in August 2014. He calls them “smart-house.”He believes it’s possible to combine the escapism of studio tentpoles with the artistic rigor of indie fare, a strategy that was once commonplace but hasn’t been in vogue since the 1990s. He did just that with one of the biggest art-house releases of 2016, “Eye in the...
Karpen launched Bleecker Street in 2014 with backing from 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava and quickly established the company as a player on the indie-film scene with the likes of Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” and “Eye in the Sky,” starring Helen Mirren. In August, Bleecker signed a deal with Hulu giving the streamer exclusive SVOD rights to all upcoming theatrical films, including “Ordinary Love,” “Dream Horse” and “Molly,” as well as recent releases such as “Hotel Mumbai,” “Teen Spirit,” “Brian Banks” and “The Art of Self-Defense.” Bleecker bears the NYC street name of Karpen’s longtime prior company, Focus Features, where he served as president and co-CEO and worked on an Oscar-attention-grabbing slate — “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Beginners,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Kids Are All Right.”