Smith aiming for Roadside pickups


Roadside Attractions has named Dustin Smith director of acquisitions, promoting the executive to be third in command at the indie distributor.

Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d'Arbeloff will work with Smith to target new projects for the indie's upcoming slate at this month's Sundance Film Festival. Smith, who began as an intern at the company in January 2005, was a key part of Roadside's acquisition and distribution of such films as "The Road to Guantanamo" and "Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic."

Smith was a film critic at the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and an indie art house theater programmer. "This seemed like the next logical step in my lifelong goal to watch movies for a living," he said. After reading an article about Roadside on IndieWire, he was inspired to travel to Los Angeles and seek a job at the company.

"Coming from Ohio, I would like to think that I bring a slightly different perspective on specialized films that have the ability to play all across the country, not just the East Village," Smith said.

"Dusty is the original film geek, in the best sense of the word. He knows more about film history than me, and I've been in the business 20 years," Cohen said. "He has the background in film programming of a Bob Berney or a Bingham Ray, and he's part of the next generation of film executives with a knowledge of Internet and alternative distribution who'll help us create an interesting conduit to that arena."

"Since my first day here as an intern, Eric and Howard have, rather amazingly, welcomed my opinion on and participation in every aspect of Roadside's business," Smith said. "I love this job so much I would still do it for free. Oh wait, please don't tell them I said that."