By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Kino Lorber And Zeitgeist Films Align; KL To Distribute ZF Library 

[pr] KINO LORBER AND ZEITGEIST FILMS ENTER A MULTI-YEAR STRATEGIC ALLIANCE THAT INCLUDES CO-ACQUIRING FOUR TO FIVE THEATRICAL FILMS PER YEAR AND THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION OF ZEITGEIST FILMS’ LIBRARY

Kino Lorber is pleased to announce a multi-year strategic alliance with renowned film distributor Zeitgeist Films, founded and run by industry leaders Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo.

Going forward, Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films will co-acquire four to five theatrical titles per year to be marketed and released by Zeitgeist Films, which continues to be operated and controlled by co-presidents Gerstman and Russo. In addition, Kino Lorber will become the exclusive distributor of all Zeitgeist Films titles for the home video and educational markets, as well as all digital media, adding Zeitgeist’s library of more than 130 award-winning titles to Kino Lorber’s library of over 1500 acclaimed new and classic films.

Founded in 1988, Zeitgeist Films has distributed first films by such notable directors as Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan, Laura Poitras, François Ozon, Atom Egoyan and the Quay Brothers. Their catalogue includes films from the world’s most outstanding filmmakers, such as Agnès Varda, Guy Maddin, Olivier Assayas, Abbas Kiarostami, Derek Jarman, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Peter Greenaway, Yvonne Rainer, Jan Svankmajer, Andrei Zyvagintsev, Astra Taylor and Raoul Peck, to name a few.

Five Zeitgeist films have been nominated for Academy Awards and one, NOWHERE IN AFRICA, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and went on to gross over $6 million at the U.S. box office. Among the company’s other most successful theatrical releases are: BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, THE CORPORATION, AIMEE & JAGUAR, SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS, BALLETS RUSSES, and INTO GREAT SILENCE.

Starting in July, Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo will relocate to Kino Lorber’s midtown office in Manhattan along with Adrian Curry, an integral member of the Zeitgeist team since 1991. Curry will become Design Director for Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films.

Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo enthused: “Our collaboration with Kino Lorber is a major step for us; possibly the most significant since we began our company 28 years ago. We are like-minded companies in many ways and anticipate a very successful partnership.”

Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber stated: “Nancy and Emily share our DNA in their passion for great cinema. Their superb taste and astute judgment distinguishes them as the leading curators in the world of art house distribution. We foresee compelling synergies as we pursue our joint mission with joined forces.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch