Open Road Names Loren Schwartz President of Marketing as Jonathan Helfgot Exits

Liz Biber promoted to president of publicity amid latest executive upheaval at indie

Open Road Films has named Loren Schwartz as its new President of Marketing, becoming the third person to hold that job in the span of a just over a year.

Jonathan Helfgot, who replaced Jason Cassidy last year as president of marketing, is departing the company and is expected to make an announcement about a new position shortly.

In addition, the indie distributor Liz Biber has been promoted to President of Publicity, the company announced Tuesday. Biber has been the head of publicity since the company’s inception in 2011.

After winning an Oscar last year for “Spotlight,” the distributor struggled to gain traction for its 2016 awards bait such as Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” and the Miles Teller boxing drama “Bleed for This.”

Last weekend, it opened “The Promise,” which only earned $4 million despite a reported budget of $100 million-plus. Open Road just handled distribution on the historical drama, which was produced by Kirk Kerkorian’s Survival Pictures.

Schwartz, who will report to CEO Tom Ortenberg, last fall left Warner Bros. where he served as EVP of genre marketing and advertising. He had previously served as Executive Vice President of Marketing at Screen Gems where he oversaw films like “Evil Dead,” “Resident Evil” and “The Vow.

Before these positions, he served as Senior Vice President of Creative Advertising at Columbia Pictures, where he worked on films like “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “50 First Dates,” among others.

“Loren has proven track record in all aspects of motion picture marketing. He has an impressive depth of expertise in creative advertising and he is highly respected by filmmakers along with his colleagues in the industry,” Ortenberg said in a statement. “I am thrilled to bring him on board as part of the senior management team at Open Road and looking forward to Loren and Liz being a truly dynamic duo as they lead our marketing and publicity efforts into the future.”

“I’m excited to work with Tom and his incredible team,” stated Schwartz.  “Open Road has a great reputation for unique and innovative campaigns on a diverse array of projects across many genres. I’m looking forward to working with them on their upcoming slate.”

Upcoming Open Road releases include “Midnight Sun” starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, the animated “The Nut Job,” Reese Witherspoon’s “Home Again,” Blake Lively’s “All I See Is You,” and the Thurgood Marshall biopic “Marshall.”