HBO Films Walks a Fine Line

Looking to ramp up its presence on the big screen, HBO Films is launching a
theatrical-distribution arm, entering into an arrangement with New Line Cinema's
specialized distribution division, Fine Line Features.

To oversee HBO Films’ theatrical expansion and the relationship with Fine
Line, Home Box Office named Dennis O’Connor head of HBO Films Domestic
Theatrical Releasing.

O’Connor -- who has more than 15 years’ experience in all phases of
exhibition, marketing, distribution and acquisition of independent and
foreign-language films -- has been serving as the head of marketing for United
Artists, the specialty division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., since fall

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, puts distribution of American
-- the winner of the 'Sundance Grand Jury Prize' and the recipient
of the "International Film Critics Association Award" at Cannes, France -- under
the Fine Line Features banner.

"Our experience with Fine Line working toward the Aug. 15 release of
American Splendor has been so productive that it seemed only logical to
further extend this relationship," HBO Films president Colin Callender said in a
prepared statement.

"To guide this venture for HBO Films, we have brought on board a skilled and
seasoned executive in Dennis O’Connor," Callender added. "He combines an
intimate working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of distribution with extensive
hands-on marketing expertise. We are thrilled to have him on board as part of
the HBO Films team."

Following American Splendor, the new HBO unit will work on the Oct. 24
release of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, winner of the Palme d’Or and best
director at Cannes.

American Splendor and Elephant follow HBO Films’ first successful
foray into the theatrical marketplace with the 2002 release of Real Women
Have Curves
, the 2002 "Sundance Audience Prize" winner, which grossed $6
million domestically.