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Marc Wooldridge, former head of 20th Century Fox Film Distribution in Australia, on Wednesday launched Maslow Entertainment, a startup film distribution and production company based in Sydney.
The studio veteran says he will leverage the relationships and reputation he has built in the industry our the past 28 years to create an Australian and New Zealand-focussed film banner that combines deep distribution experience with the mindset of a startup.
“The pace of change within the industry has clearly been accelerated by recent events,” Wooldridge said in a statement. “While the appetite for entertainment continues to grow, technology’s influence on production, promotion and distribution means it makes sense to consider different ways of doing things and Maslow is definitely up for the challenge,” he added.
Given the founder’s background, distribution will be the company’s earlier focus. Wooldridge is in the process of acquiring a first slate of international and local film tiles. The company says its sales and marketing side of the business will cover all distribution channels, focusing on theatrical and rapidly growing video-on-demand platforms.
But Maslow also aims to become a go-to production and development partner for the local industry — “by encouraging earlier, more in-depth interaction between the commercial and creative sides of the process,” he says.
Wooldridge adds: “In speaking with many people across different parts of the industry, more collaboration and dialogue between production, distribution and exhibition is key to increasing the success rate of local films that can attract and entertain large audiences, both in cinemas and in the home.”
The young company also will benefit from Australia and New Zealand’s highly effective containment of COVID-19, which has allowed film production to resume at a large scale down under.
“I’m very keen to contribute to a varied and vibrant Australian film culture across all screens. Things won’t happen overnight, and we are obviously in very challenging times right now, but I can’t think of another venture I’d rather be involved in,” Wooldridge added.
Maslow Entertainment isn’t the first Aussie film banner to launch amid the unusual circumstances of the pandemic. Australian film company The Reset Collective set up shop in early May, bringing together another group of industry veterans around a mission to innovate in response to the challenges facing the theatrical distribution model.
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