October Films co-founder Jeff Lipsky and former exhibitor Tim Grady have started an indie distribution company, called Adopt Films. The pair will hit the Toronto Film Festival this week to announce their first pickup, Marie Losier’s The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. The documentary is headed for a first-quarter release in the U.S. New York-based Adopt has its eye on narrative indies and foreign-language films as well. Lipsky, who began his distribution career with A Woman Under the Influence, said Adopt is emulating the path forged by early October releases including Mike Leigh’s Life Is Sweet, Gregg Araki’s The Living End, Bill Plympton’s The Tune and Adam’s Rib. Losier’s first feature chronicles the love affair between Brit Genesis Breyer P-Orridge — the founder of industrial bands COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV — and New York performance artist Lady Jaye. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival this year. Lipsky also is a filmmaker and a former executive at New Yorker Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films, and Skouras Pictures, and Grady has been executive producer and exclusive home video rights holder to the Tour de France for North America and the UK for 23 years.
If indie distributor Hannover House’s CEO Eric Parkinson has his way, the Joel Schumacher-directed Twelve will not only stir box office when it opens Friday, it will also be popular on the IMDB.com website. And since entry to that popularity clique can be manipulated by hyperactive clicking, he’s asking everyone he knows to log on and click away.
Parkinson sent out this Facebook post asking for help: “Twelve opens at theaters next Friday, and this is my last shot at driving up the film’s ranking and score on the Internet Movie Database site. Just by CLICKING on the link below, you will help drive up the film’s popularity ranking. And if…you’re registered, you can even VOTE for the film (up to TEN stars!) You can only vote once, but you can click repeatedly. The reason this is important is that many media and broadcasters refer to the film’s ranking on IMDB to decide whether or not to do coverage!”
Who knew that being popular online was such hard work? Reached by e-mail, Parkinson freely admitted he was trying to rig the rankings, but said everybody does it. “Every studio and PR firm knows it and engages in stealth searching to elevate rank of films and stars,” Parkinson wrote me. “The only difference is that Hannover House is completely honest and upfront about it. If all the other studios are stuffing the ballot box (so-to-speak), anyone who doesn’t do the same will …
UPDATE 12:13 PM: Apparition just made official its restructuring plans after Deadline broke the story.
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pohlad has begun the first phase of restructuring Apparition, the indie distribution company that was thrown into disarray when co-founder Bob Berney exited in bombshell fashion just before the Cannes Film Festival. The first step is painful: 60%, or approximately 15 staffers were informed moments ago they are being let go and receiving severance packages. Last day for those staffers is this Friday.