EXCLUSIVE: North American arthouse distributor Kino Lorber has hired indie cinema veteran George Schmalz as Director, Theatrical Sales & Business.
Schmalz will be responsible for overseeing the Kino Lorber Repertory label and will report to the company’s Senior VP of Theatrical and Non-Theatrical Distribution & Acquisitions, Wendy Lidell.
Schmalz has previously worked in production (Kovarova, Wormwood Films); exhibition (Landmark Theatres); VOD (Sundance Now, Shudder); theatrical on demand (Gathr); crowdfunding (Kickstarter); and distribution (Oscilloscope Laboratories, Metrograph Pictures, Dekanalog).
Upcoming Kino Lorber repertory releases include a package of six films by Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó restored in 4K by the Hungarian National Film Archive, Deborah Shaffer’s 1979 documentary The Wobblies about the Industrial Workers of the World, and James Blue’s Olive Trees of Justice, which was the first American film to win the Critic’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962. Schmalz will also oversee distribution of the Milestone Film Collection.
“George brings a remarkably wide range of industry experience, as well as a keen cinephilic eye, making him uniquely qualified to help us navigate uncharted waters in 21st century theatrical film distribution,” commented Lidell. “We welcome him, and know he will become an indispensable member of our team.”
“I’ve long admired Kino Lorber’s robust slate of titles – from films fresh off the festival circuit, to newly restored classics and recently unearthed gems,” added Schmalz. “They have shown adventurousness in testing the marketplace through new initiatives such as the Kino Marquee virtual cinema platform and the newly launched Kino Cult AVOD channel, all while continuing to maintain a powerhouse theatrical, educational, digital, and home video business.”
Kino Lorber’s virtual cinema response to the COVID-19 pandemic was recognized with a special award from the New York Film Critics Circle in 2020.