Lisa Schwartz has been named co-president (along with Jonathan Sehring) of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, promoted upward from executive vice president of distribution, operations and business development. Sehring said in a statement: “Lisa’s vast experience and deep industry relationships have made her an extraordinary leader here over the past decade. The time has come to fully acknowledge that and make her my full partner in running this company moving forward. In an ever-changing landscape, with countless new revenue streams and a myriad of new emerging platforms, Lisa’s expertise and knowledge allows us to always be one step ahead in positioning us as a continued leader in the independent film space.”
She has led distribution efforts for the AMC Networks-owned independent studio division at a time when video-on-demand -- including day-and-date releases in theaters and on VOD, which she helped pioneer -- has become a huge part of the business. She has been the senior distribution strategist for the division, responsible for creating, identifying and securing revenue-generating opportunities. She maintained oversight of all domestic and foreign distribution for IFC Films and Sundance Selects’ operations across all platforms, including theatrical, premium VOD, pay TV, digital, portable devices, home video and all emerging new platforms. She was also part of the core team that helped to launch IFC Midnight (2010), distributing genre entertainment; Sundance Selects (2009), distributing prestige American films, world cinema and documentaries; and the SundanceNow online movie service.
“Working with Jonathan over the past 10 years has been the highlight of my career," Schwartz said in the release. "He has been a welcome mentor who possesses a creative vision unsurpassed in our industry. I am looking forward to continuing to work together with Jonathan to identify new opportunities that will insure the long term success of IFC Films and Sundance Selects both creatively and financially.”
Josh Sapan, CEO of AMC Networks, the parent company of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, in the release said: “Under the leadership of Jonathan Sehring, IFC Films/Sundance Selects has been a pioneer in the theatrical, VOD and Multi-Platform Business. Lisa Schwartz’ breadth of experience and relationships in the distribution community, along with her keen business acumen are a great complement to Jonathan’s long established, well earned leadership position in the independent film community.”
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