Qualia creates library firm


With an eye toward possibly remaking such iconic TV shows as "Star Search" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," as well as the 1975 movie "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud," private investment firm Qualia Capital said Wednesday that it has created Qualia Library Cos.

The entity contains content purchased from Rysher Entertainment, Gaylord Films and Pandora Films, which Qualia Capital previously acquired for a reported $100 million.

Qualia Capital, founded by former Artisan Entertainment CEO Amir Malin and former Artisan chief operating officer Ken Schapiro, said Qualia Library Cos. will be headed by Patrick Gunn, who was named chief operating officer, and David Cragnotti, who was named chief financial officer.

Qualia Library Cos. will manage 300 feature films, including "Like Water for Chocolate" and "Private Parts," and about 100 TV titles including "Hogan's Heroes" and "Sex and the City."

Beyond remakes, Gunn said Wednesday that sequels to such films as "Donnie Darko" and "Kingpin" are being considered.

The company also intends on monetizing its library via next-generation DVD and digital and international distribution.

Qualia Capital has made investments in media and entertainment companies and individual films, though the company does not often divulge details. Gunn said that Qualia Library Cos. also is on the lookout for more acquisitions in order to beef up its content offerings.

Gunn and Cragnotti each joined Qualia Capital two years ago. Before that Gunn managed the distribution of "Fahrenheit 9/11" at Bob and Harvey Weinstein's Fellowship Adventure Group and he was an executive vp at Artisan. Cragnotti was a vp financial planning at Lionsgate Entertainment and also is a veteran of Artisan.

The company also said Wednesday that Christine Ricardo has been named controller of Qualia Library Cos.

"Qualia Capital will continue to invest in entertainment opportunities," Gunn said. "While they're doing that, they established the library company to consolidate these assets under a single operating group so we can be very focused on maximizing the value of those holdings."