>From IndieWIRE, October 23, 2003
Consolidation and Cutbacks Hit NYC Companies: Artisan, Cowboy and mPRm
by Eugene Hernandez
Elliot Greenebaum's award-winning film "Assisted Living" is seeking a
new distributor following the closure of New York's Cowboy Pictures.
Image courtesy of the filmmakers.
While the studio specialty divisions and other protestors have been
battling the screener ban over the past few weeks, a number of New
York independent film companies have been quietly facing cutbacks and
consolidation. Lions Gate and Artisan are reportedly set to announce a
merger this week, while Cowboy Pictures has closed its doors and P.R.
firm mPRm is shutting its New York office.
Lions Gate Gets Artisan
Lions Gate Entertainment is set to announce its acquisition of Artisan
Entertainment, according to press reports this week. Variety indicated
on Tuesday that Artisan chief Amir Malin would leave the company as
part of the deal. Neither company has announced the pact and no
information on future staffing has been released. A Lions Gate rep
declined comment on Wednesday and an Artisan rep had no additional
Concerns about overlap between the two companies have raised fears of
job cuts. Lions Gate Entertainment, which releases movies through
Lions Gate Films, is based in Los Angeles and Canadian cities. Its
upcoming releases include "Shattered Glass," "The Girl With a Pearl
Earring" and "The Cooler." Artisan, with offices in Los Angeles and
New York, maintains a 3,000 title film library, including such indie
films as "Step Into Liquid," "Buena Vista Social Club," "The Blair
Witch Project," and "Pi."
Cowboy Shuts Down
After six years in business, Cowboy Pictures has closed its doors. The
New York based indie distribution company, which was founded by John
Vanco and Noah Cowan, recently let go of its employees and last week
filed for bankruptcy. Greg Williams and his Lot 47 team joined Cowboy
at its Laight St. offices this summer and he remains with Lot 47
following a split with Vanco and Cowboy.
"We've had a great run and I'm extremely proud of the wonderful films
we've brought to audiences across North America," said Vanco. "Cowboy
could have never grown into a full fledged company without the efforts
of many talented people, and I wish to take this opportunity to salute
my former partner Noah Cowan and the talented and passionate employees
who worked with us, especially Julie Fontaine, Emily Gannett and Sarah
In a brief conversation with indieWIRE on Tuesday, Greg Williams
indicated that Lot 47 remains "active and in business" at the Laight
St. office, but he directed inquiries regarding Cowboy activities to
Vanco. In Tuesday's announcement, Vanco indicated that he will detail
additional plans in the coming weeks.
Cowboy Pictures had planned to release Elliot Greenebaum's "Assisted
Living," which won awards at the Slamdance, Gen Art and Woodstock
festivals. In a conversation with indieWIRE on Tuesday, the film's
producer Alex Laskey indicated that he and Greenebaum are pursuing
other distribution options for the movie. The film will screen this
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the Hamptons International Film
Festival on Long Island, New York.
The company (originally known as Cowboy Booking International) has
released more than 40 titles, including "Gigantic (A Tale of Two
Johns)," the recent "Movern Callar" and "The Endurance: Shackleton's
Legendary Antarctic Expedition." Cowboy's library of nearly 400 movies
includes most of the key work of Akira Kurosawa, D.A. Pennebaker, and
Ingmar Bergman. Cowan left the company last year and later was
involved with the formation of the Global Film Initiative.
> Hello all -
> Since Jan. 29th I've been trying to reach Cowboy Pictures to inquire
> a non-theatrical rental of "All About Lily Chou Chou." I've had no
> from 3 different e-mail addresses or a phone mail message. Also,
> and today I couldn't even get through on the phone (the number "has
> temporarily disconnected") or their fax number.
> Does anyone know what has happened to the company? And if they're
> business, is anyone else picking up their films?
> Marilyn Huntley
> ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
> Marilyn B. Huntley, Audiovisual Assistant
> (Film Scheduling & Rentals)
> Audiovisual Classrm Svcs, 408 C. A. Johnson Hall
> Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Rd, Clinton NY 13323
> Phone 315-859-4120; Fax 315-859-4687
> Videolib mailing list
Joel S. Bachar, Founder
531 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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