A new major independent film distributor has emerged, just in time for Toronto. Andrew Karpen, the longtime co-CEO of Focus Features, has unveiled Bleecker Street, a New York-based distribution company that has backing from 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava.
Karpen, who holds the CEO title, starts Bleecker with a plan to release three to five pictures next year. He gets started with several plum titles to release after making an output distribution deal with Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures. Bleecker Street will be responsible for U.S. distribution of three choice films: Danny Collins, the Dan Fogelman-directed pic starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer; Captain Fantastic, the Matt Ross-directed film that stars Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Missi Pyle, and Steve Zahn; and Trumbo, the Jay Roach-directed film that stars Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, and Elle Fanning.
Karpen, who joined Focus in 2002, rose to president in 2006 and became co-CEO in 2012. He brings a strong track record that aside from Dallas Buyers Club includes the films Beginners, The Place Beyond The Pines, Moonrise Kingdom, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Kids Are All Right. Karpen will begin staffing up immediately. WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Liesl Copland brokered the deal for Bhargava.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the work of great filmmakers into the marketplace, and I couldn’t be more excited to be launching this new company in New York City,” said Karpen. “Bleecker Street will be well positioned to distribute films on a platform or national basis, whatever best suits each title.”
Said Rawat: “Based on Andrew’s previous success in distributing films, I look forward to working with him in handling our upcoming slate through his new venture.”