By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Sundance Director of Programmer Trevor Groth Joins 30WEST

[pr] 30WEST HIRES SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING CHIEF TREVOR GROTH

LOS ANGELES (January 29, 2018) – 30WEST has hired the Director of Programming of the Sundance Film Festival, Trevor Groth, who will join the company in February. Groth first joined the programming staff of the Sundance Film Festival in 1993, was named Senior Programmer in 2003 and Director in 2009. While at Sundance, Groth has helped champion acclaimed titles such as Whiplash, Fruitvale Station, Hard Eight, Pi, Memento and Napoleon Dynamite. Under his direction as head programmer for the Festival’s Short Film Section, Groth was among the first to showcase the shorts of now prominent filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Cary Fukunaga, Taika Waititi and Sarah Polley.

30WEST said: “For over twenty years Trevor has been one of the film community’s most consistent champions of original creative voices, all while exhibiting a fearless commitment to pushing the boundaries of film creation and distribution.  We could not be more thrilled that he has chosen to join us.”

Trevor Groth continued: “It’s been a wild and exhilarating ride being in the driver’s seat of a festival that has launched many of our generation’s greatest independent films and filmmakers.  I look forward to continuing that dynamic journey with a company equally committed to discovering what’s next.”

Groth worked for the Sundance Institute’s filmmaker labs and development program while still a student in film school at the University of Utah. Since 2002, Groth has also served as Artistic Director for The CineVegas Film Festival and been a guest curator for the Australian Film Institute, and a juror at festivals including Cannes Critics’ Week, SXSW, Morelia and more. He has also served as a consultant on a number of film productions and was instrumental in the creation of Sundance Film Festival London, Sundance Film Festival Hong Kong and Sundance NEXT Fest.

Last week at Sundance, 30WEST purchased the fast rising film studio, NEON.  The two companies previously partnered to co-finance marketing and distribution of the acclaimed feature I, Tonya.  30WEST also partnered with Bleecker Street to buy the U.S. rights to Wash Westmoreland’s Colettestarring Keira Knightley and arranged the partnership between NEON and AGBO Films to buyAssassination Nation, directed by Sam Levinson.

 

30WEST is currently in production on two feature films, Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman, and Peter Hedges’ Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. This spring 30WEST will release the film Beast with Roadside Attractions, which premiered to acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival and most recently enjoyed its US premiere at Sundance.

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With offices in Los Angeles and New York, 30WEST provides capital and strategic guidance to high caliber creative projects and forward-thinking companies operating throughout popular culture. Its media practice works with filmmakers to guide every stage of creative packaging, providing direct capital investment for production, sales, distribution and licensing in order to maximize production quality and audience reach. 30WEST was founded in 2017 by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green.

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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