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FilmDistrict Distribution, LLC
Former type Private
Industry Film
Fate Merged with Focus Features
Successors Focus World
Founded September 2010
Founders Graham King
Timothy Headington
Peter Schlessel
Defunct February 2014
Headquarters 1540 2nd Street
Suite 200
Santa Monica
United States
Key people Peter Schlessel (CEO)
Adrian Alperovich (COO)
Christine Birch (President of Marketing)
Jim Orr (President of Distribution)
Lia Buman (EVP of Acquisitions)
Products Motion pictures
Employees 45

FilmDistrict was an American independent motion picture company based in Los Angeles. It specialized in acquisitions, distribution, production, and financing. FilmDistrict was founded in September 2010 by Peter Schlessel in partnership with Graham King and Timothy Headington.

FilmDistrict's releases were distributed by Culver City-based Sony Pictures Entertainment for home & media markets, and after January 2014 those operations will be handled by Focus Features and Universal Studios Home Entertainment respectively. Co-productions with Sony, such as Soul Surfer and Pompeii will be retained by Sony-owned TriStar Pictures after 2014.


FilmDistrict acquired and released between four and eight wide release, commercial titles per year. This includes select titles from GK Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.[1][2] In December 2010, FilmDistrict and Netflix signed a Pay-TV deal.[3]

The studio partnered with TriStar on select films starting with Soul Surfer and Looper. FilmDistrict's CEO Peter Schlessel also made alternative distribution arrangements for their film releases. In 2012, Schlessel closed a three-picture distribution deal for their 2012 films to go through Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films. Open Road released Lockout, the Luc Besson-produced sci-fi action movie that stars Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace, on April 13, 2012. Open Road also released the Red Dawn remake on November 21, 2012. On Open Road's official website they list Playing The Field as the third film.[4]

On March 23, 2012, Peter Schlessel announced that FilmDistrict hired Christine Birch as President of Marketing as the company rebuilt its distribution team. She worked on The Help, Real Steel and War Horse when she was at DreamWorks Pictures.[5] On April 12, 2012, Schlessel announced Jim Orr has joined FilmDistrict as the new President of Distribution. He held similar positions when he was at MGM and Paramount Pictures.[6] At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, FilmDistrict bought the U.S. rights for romantic thriller Dead Man Down[7] and horror film Oculus.[8] On May 31, 2012, they have hired three new executives: Tracy Pollard (Senior VP of Creative Advertising), Brad Goldberg (Senior VP of Media), and Anna Baxter (Senior VP of Digital Marketing). FilmDistrict also announced that Adrian Alperovich has been promoted from President of Acquisitions and Operations to COO.[9] On June 25, 2012 FilmDistrict announced they have hired Elissa Greer as Senior Vice President of Publicity.[10]

In April 2013, FilmDistrict announced the launch of a unit, High Top Releasing, which "will provide distribution-for-hire services including sales, in-theatre marketing and print control support, film rental negotiation and collection capabilities to independent producers who have the ability to provide their own prints-and-advertising and marketing resources."[11]

On October 2, 2013, it was announced that Peter Schlessel would be replacing James Schamus as CEO of Focus Features effective January 2014, and FilmDistrict was shut down as a distributor. Future FilmDistrict titles will be absorbed and released under Focus Features.[12] FilmDistrict's final film credit is Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii, which the company produced and financed with German-based Constantin Film. TriStar Pictures handled U.S. distribution.


Released or Produced[edit]

Release Date Title Notes
April 1, 2011 Insidious FilmDistrict's first release; produced by Alliance Films and IM Global.
April 8, 2011 Soul Surfer Distributed by TriStar Pictures; produced by Mandalay Pictures, Enticing Entertainment and Brookwell/McNamara Entertainment.
August 26, 2011 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark distribution only; produced by Miramax Films and Guillermo Del Toro.
September 16, 2011 Drive distribution only; produced by Bold Films and OddLot Entertainment.
October 28, 2011 The Rum Diary distribution only; produced by GK Films and Infinitum Nihil.
December 23, 2011 In the Land of Blood and Honey distribution only; produced by GK Films.
April 13, 2012 Lockout distribution only; produced by EuropaCorp.
June 8, 2012 Safety Not Guaranteed distribution only; produced by Big Beach.
September 28, 2012 Looper distributed by TriStar Pictures; produced by Endgame Entertainment and DMG Entertainment
November 23, 2012 Red Dawn distribution only; co-production with Contrafilm
December 7, 2012 Playing for Keeps distribution only; produced by Millennium Films and Nu Image.
January 25, 2013 Parker distribution only; produced by Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sierra Pictures.
March 8, 2013 Dead Man Down distribution only; produced by IM Global, WWE Studios and Original Film
March 22, 2013 Olympus Has Fallen distribution only; produced by Millennium Films and Nu Image.
April 5, 2013 Evil Dead distributed by TriStar Pictures; co-production with Ghost House Pictures
September 13, 2013 Insidious: Chapter 2 distribution only; co-production with Blumhouse Productions, Stage 6 Films and Entertainment One
November 27, 2013 Oldboy distribution only; co-production with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and Good Universe
January 31, 2014 That Awkward Moment distribution only; co-production with Focus Features and Treehouse Pictures
February 21, 2014 Pompeii FilmDistrict's final release; Distributed by TriStar Pictures; co-production with Constantin Film and Impact Pictures.


  1. ^ Kilday, Gregg (September 27, 2010). "King's FilmDistrict taps Bob Berney". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  2. ^ "filmdistributorguide - Film District". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  3. ^ FilmDistrict Netflix Retrieved July 6, 2010
  4. ^ Open Road Films (June 28, 2012). Retrieved July 6, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Christine Birch Joins FilmDistrict as Marketing President
  6. ^ Deadline, The. "FilmDistrict Hires Jim Orr As President Of Distribution". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (2012-05-17). "FilmDistrict Buys U.S. Rights To Colin Farrell-Noomi Rapace Pic 'Dead Man Down'". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike (2012-05-16). "FilmDistrict Acquires 'Oculus': Cannes". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  9. ^ Kilday, Gregg (2012-05-31). "FilmDistrict Names Three New Marketing Executives". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  10. ^ Deadline, The. "FilmDistrict Hires New Line’s Elissa Greer As SVP Publicity". Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Focus Features Hires Peter Schlessel to Replace James Schamus as CEO". October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]