Lisa Schwartz, co-president of IFC Films, will step down from the indie distributor at the end of the year, parent company AMC Networks announced Thursday.
Schwartz joined IFC Films in 2006 and was elevated to her current role in 2016, where she led business strategy, distribution and strategic partnerships for the distributor behind independent hits like “Boyhood,” “The Trip” franchise, “The Babadook” and “45 Years.”
IFC Films is going through an impressive year despite the pandemic, with the studio finding surprising box office success at drive-in theaters with the release of indie horror films like “The Rental” and “The Wretched” that have ranked among some of the distributor’s top-performing titles even when compared to normal circumstances. Schwartz was recognized as part of TheWrap’s annual Innovator’s List.
Schwartz also led the creation of IFC Films Unlimited, the subscription video on-demand service that hosts IFC Films’ library of films dating back 20 years, as well as those from Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight. She previously headed development of the Sundance Now streaming service that launched in 2014. Her approach to IFC Films’ day-and-date distribution model to release films theatrically and on VOD has been a success for the distributor and become an industry standard.
“Lisa is an extraordinary business person who finds and creates value and business opportunities in a way that is quite rare,” Josh Sapan, AMC Networks president and CEO said in a statement. “I know her keen commercial instincts and creativity will lead her to do many more great things.”
“Lisa has been instrumental in identifying and driving key revenue opportunities for IFC Films,” Ed Carroll, AMC Networks chief operating officer said in a statement. “Lisa was the chief architect behind IFC Films Unlimited, unlocking value from our library of acclaimed films and putting the service on an early path to success. She has been a great colleague and friend for many years and we will miss her smarts and creativity.”
“In an extraordinary year like no other, extraordinary and innovative approaches were developed which kept IFC Films at the forefront of film distribution,” Schwartz said. “I’m very proud to have been a part of the leadership team that forged ahead and accomplished the incredible success the business has achieved, particularly over the past couple of years. I look forward to taking that spirit of innovation and creativity with me into my next chapter.”
Prior to joining IFC Films, Schwartz served as senior vice president of national accounts for AMC Networks’ distribution group and was responsible for distribution and contract negotiations for all distributors for several of AMC Networks and VOD services. Previously, she held various key affiliate distribution positions within the company.