(August 7, 2003 – Burbank, CA) - Warner Bros. Entertainment announced today the creation of Warner Independent Pictures, an autonomous film label to be headed by Mark Gill as its President. Gill will oversee all aspects of the new company, including development, production, acquisition, marketing and distribution. In making the announcement, Barry Meyer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer and Alan Horn, President & Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., noted, “For strategic and creative reasons, we have long felt that in order to truly be a ‘full-service’ studio, we need to produce, distribute and market all genres of films, with all size budgets to all potential audiences and not be limited by traditional, mainstream definitions of a ‘studio’ film. We now feel the time is right, and with Jeff (Robinov) and Mark we have the perfect team to create a special place for established as well as new directors to turn projects that they are passionate about into top-quality, successful motion pictures.” As with all feature films from Warner Bros. Entertainment Companies, Horn retains the ultimate “greenlight” authority, with Gill and Warner Independent reporting directly to Jeff Robinov, President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures. The initial strategy is for Warner Independent to produce or acquire up to 10 films per year with production budgets up to $20 million for worldwide release, drawing from new directors and established filmmakers, as well as from international filmmakers who are already a part of Warner Bros. Pictures International’s “in-country” film production and distribution program. Warner Independent will also acquire films that are better suited for a boutique-like release slate. “Mark’s production, marketing and distribution experience make him uniquely qualified to lead our efforts,” said Horn. “We will look to him not just to execute our strategy and beliefs, but more importantly to use his talent and insights to create a genuinely unique film entity.” “Warner Independent will operate as a true independent film company with its growth and direction developing organically,” said Robinov. “While it might be difficult to precisely define or label Warner Independent, our purpose couldn’t be more clear. We want to create a home for director-driven films that don’t fit into, or are simply not suited for, the distribution patterns, marketing budgets and commercial pressures that are inherent to mainstream studio films. We want to be the place where filmmakers want to do all of their films, from their first to their last, from the smallest to the biggest.” Warner Independent Pictures is a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company and will be housed on the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank. “Clearly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was impossible to resist,” said Gill. “While I’ll mainly be working with Jeff and the independent team we’re assembling now, I’m also looking forward to the benefits of new relationships to be forged throughout Warner Bros. Entertainment.” Gill joins Warner Independent from Stratus Film Co. (a partnership with producer-financier Bob Yari and “Saving Private Ryan” producer Mark Gordon) where for the last year he developed, packaged, and served as executive producer on several films, including “Laws of Attraction,” a romantic comedy starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore. Prior to that, he spent five years as President of Miramax/L.A., where he was responsible for development, production, post-production, acquisitions and marketing. During that period, he was involved in the production or acquisition of more than 25 films, among them “Frida,” “In the Bedroom,” “Amelie,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “The Quiet American,” “Central Station,” “Next Stop Wonderland,” “Apocalypse Now Redux,” “Rabbit Proof Fence” and the upcoming “Under the Tuscan Sun.” He joined Miramax in 1994 and served for three years as the company’s marketing chief, based in New York. In that post, he was responsible for marketing of such films as “Pulp Fiction,” “Scream,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Trainspotting,” “Slingblade,” “Emma,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Il Postino,” “The English Patient,” “Life is Beautiful” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Prior to Miramax, Gill worked for six years at Columbia and TriStar Pictures, culminating in a three-year tenure as Senior Vice President of Marketing. There, he worked on “The Age of Innocence,” “Awakenings,” “Boyz N the Hood,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” “El Mariachi,” “In the Line of Fire,” “A League of Their Own,” “The Prince of Tides,” “The Remains of the Day,” “A River Runs Through It” and “Terminator 2.” Prior to joining Columbia, Gill spent some four years at Rogers & Cowan, the publicity agency, after having begun his career as a general assignment reporter for Newsweek magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
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