Lipsky tops new SenArt output arm


Producer SenArt Films is creating a distribution division, SenArt Films Releasing, and hiring New York indie film veteran Jeff Lipsky as its director of marketing distribution.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has signed on as its video releasing partner.

Lipsky, co-founder of October Films and Lot 47 Films, will oversee the arm's first U.S. release, Christopher N. Rowley's road movie "Bonneville," starring Jessica Lange, Joan Allen and Kathy Bates. SenArt founder Robert May and John Kilker produced the project. Lightning Entertainment is handling overseas sales at this week's AFM.

Fox is a financial partner with SenArt, collaborating on its overall marketing strategy, encompassing theatrical and DVD releases.

"In this age of niche marketing, we are pioneering what we call 'hyper-viral marketing,' " May said. "We'll identify a film's target demographic — in this case, the underserved female boomer audience — and then find brands and organizations who are targeting the same demo and set up innovative cross-promotional partnerships. On 'Bonneville' we've done that with the Red Hat Society (a group for women ages 50 and older) and AAA."

In "Bonneville," Lange's character faces a pivotal moment in her life and decides to load up her 1966 Bonneville convertible to travel across the American West with her best friends in tow. Daniel Davis wrote the screenplay for the film, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.

The new outfit marks the latest chapter in the long career of Lipsky, who has shepherded more than 200 films into the marketplace. They range from Lasse Hallstrom's "My Life as a Dog" and Jim Jarmusch's feature debut "Stranger Than Paradise" to Mike Leigh's films "High Hopes" and "Life Is Sweet." Lipsky has written and directed two features: "Childhood's End" and "Flannel Pajamas," a 2006 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition selection.

May founded SenArt in 2000, producing such projects as Tom McCarthy's "The Station Agent," Errol Morris' "The Fog of War" and the 2006 Tribeca best docu feature winner "The War Tapes."