Andrew Karpen, who most recently served as co-CEO of Focus Features, has announced the formation of Bleecker Street, a new distribution company that plans to release 3-5 movies in 2015, with an expanded slate in future years.
Karpen will serve as CEO at the independently-financed, NYC-based company, and he’ll be scouting new films at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. The company is expected to make additional staffing announcements later this fall.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the work of great filmmakers into the marketplace and I couldn’t be more excited to be launching this new company in New York City,” said Karpen. “Bleecker Street will be well positioned to distribute films on a platform or national basis, whatever best suits each title.”
The company has closed an output distribution deal with Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures. Bleecker Street will be responsible for U.S. distribution on all current and future ShivHans films including Dan Fogelman‘s “Danny Collins,” which stars Al Pacino and Annette Bening, Matt Ross‘s “Captain Fantastic” starring Viggo Mortensen, and Jay Roach‘s “Trumbo,” which stars Bryan Cranston as the legendary screenwriter.
“Based on Andrew’s previous success in distributing films, I look forward to working with him in handling our upcoming slate through his new venture, ” said Rawat.
Karpen joined Focus Features as COO in 2002, was promoted to president in 2006 and later elevated to co-CEO in 2012. He oversaw the release of Oscar-winning titles including “Dallas Buyers Club and “Beginniners” and such commercial hits as “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Place Beyond the Pines,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Kids Are All Right.”
Bleecker Street is financed by Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5-hour Energy who was advised by Graham Taylor and Liesl Copland of WME Global.