ThinkFilm adds to acquisitions


NEW YORK -- Ben Stambler has been appointed director of acquisitions at ThinkFilm. The indie studio also promoted Michael Baker to vp and David Laub to manager of acquisitions.

Stambler, who arrives at the company after serving for three years as Magnolia Pictures' manager of acquisitions, will report to head of U.S. theatrical Mark Urman and senior vp acquisitions and business affairs Randy Manis. He replaces ThinkFilm founding exec Daniel Katz, who left the company to run financial service firm Guggenheim Partners' new film financing initiative.

"As our company elevates to the next level, it is crucial to fortify the ranks with smart and aggressive executives," Manis said. "Stambler's background and training -- and the fact that he doesn't own a suit -- make him a perfect fit for us as we begin to acquire bigger films and to co-finance and produce a portion of our slate."

Five-year ThinkFilm veteran Baker has been promoted from director of acquisitions and development. Three-year veteran Laub was Urman's assistant and has already had an active role on the acquisitions team.

Stambler, a prominent presence on the New York film scene who is often spotted at events and film festivals wearing his backpack, will be based in the company's New York office with Laub. Baker will remain in the Toronto office.

"Michael Baker's promotion to vp was the result of years of dedicated service and enormous growth," Urman said. "With David, who has also come a long way with us, and with the addition of Ben, our acquisitions team is bigger and brighter than it has even been."

Stambler produced Aaron Katz's recent South by Southwest Film Festival premiere "Quiet City" and was involved in Magnolia's acquisitions of "The Signal," "The Host" and "Jesus Camp."

Baker participated in the company's acquisition of the recent Sundance Film Festival premiere "In the Shadow of the Moon," one of ThinkFilm's biggest purchases. Laub played a key role in the distribution deal for 2007 French Oscar entry "Avenue Montaigne."