River Road adds 3 execs in L.A.


River Road Entertainment, riding high on the success of "Brokeback Mountain" and "A Prairie Home Companion," is expanding its Los Angeles office with three key executive hires.

The company, based in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, has appointed former Sobini Films president of production Robin Schorr as head of creative production, veteran producer and executive Frank Hildebrand as head of physical production and former Film Finance Corporation Australia investment manager Deborah Zipser as head of business affairs. The company also announced the appointment of Teodora Kerkeniakova as director of production and development.

"We had a vision for River Road to not only make great films but also to build an environment that supports and nurtures distinctive and challenging films and filmmakers," company topper Bill Pohlad said. "Hopefully with films like 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'A Prairie Home Companion' we have started to deliver on the first part of that vision. Now, with the addition of this remarkably talented team, we're set to deliver on the rest."

Schorr most recently produced Lionsgate's "Peaceful Warrior," starring Nick Nolte and Amy Smart, and the Paramount/Lionsgate co-production "The Prince and Me," starring Julia Stiles. She was head of production at Trimark Films, where she oversaw films like Bill Paxton's "Frailty," and also was senior vp development at the Kennedy/Marshall Co.

Hildebrand most recently produced "The Hills Have Eyes" for Fox Searchlight. He was a production executive on feature projects for such studios as Sony, Fox, Miramax and New Line and was executive vp production at Kushner-Locke.

While at Film Finance Corporation Australia, Zipser spearheaded financing on such projects as the U.K./Australian co-production "Death Defying Acts," which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones. Before joining the FFC, Zipser was head of business and legal affairs at the Motion Picture Bond Co. in Los Angeles as well as senior associate at Melbourne law firm Marshalls and Dent.

Kerkeniakova was at American Entertainment Investors.