Roadside, Goldwyn split up


NEW YORK -- After releasing its films for three years through Samuel Goldwyn Films' marketing and distribution company IDP Distribution, Roadside Attractions is heading out on its own and discussing partnership opportunities with other indie companies.

Over the past few months, Roadside has been in negotiations with Lionsgate about various partnership arrangements, including being partially or fully purchased to function as a Lionsgate art house division, but those talks are in a holding pattern. Roadside also has had discussions with Netflix.

Goldwyn president and COO Meyer Gottlieb and Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d'Arbelloff described the divorce as "100% amicable." Gottlieb said the decision came from a growth in Roadside's slate and Goldwyn's own lineup of 10-12 releases a year. The companies also have jointly acquired several features over the years, including "Super Size Me," "Amazing Grace" and their final co-acquisition, the recently released "Lonely Hearts."

"Our deal to participate with Goldwyn in the IDP partnership was up at the end of 2006, and we all decided not to continue after June 30," Cohen said. "We weren't willing to commit to another three years with them. That said, Sam (Goldwyn Jr.) and Meyer are my mentors, and Eric and I both have a great history with them -- a 20-year history in my case. Eric and I feel privileged to have worked with them, and they continue as our close friends."

Gottlieb said the odds are there won't be any more co-acquisitions. "It would be counterproductive," he said. "Our business has grown, and they want to grow their business to a higher level."

Plans for theatrical distribution of the remaining films in Roadside's lineup, including "Colma: The Musical" and "How to Cook Your Life," will be made in a forthcoming announcement.

IDP will continue distributing Goldwyn films theatrically in the U.S. with its current staff. Gottlieb said several companies have asked to be distributed by IDP in the past few years and that he is open to a possible alliance in the future.

Goldwyn created IDP, formerly known as Independent Distribution Partners, seven years ago to provide marketing, publicity and booking services for itself and two now-defunct companies, Fireworks and Stratosphere. Roadside signed on in 2003.