By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz October 20, 2011 at 1:30AM
Veteran distribution executive and October Films co-founder Jeff Lipsky has teamed with longtime Twin Cities entrepreneur and former exhibitor Tim Grady to form a new acquisitions-oriented independent distribution company called Adopt Films. They announced their first acquisition at TIFF 2011, the French-American filmmaker Marie Losier’s award-winning documentary The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. Adopt Films plans a first quarter 2012 release in the U.S.
Adopt Films, which will be based in New York, will acquire independent English-language films, both narrative and documentary and foreign language films.
“I truly feel this might be the single best time to launch a new independent distribution company since Bingham Ray and I plotted out October in my then-living room in Sherman Oaks in 1990,” said Lipsky. “Our focus at Adopt will be on films that have theatrical potential, first and foremost. I’m not a glass half-full kind of guy about the ongoing potential theatrical audience for independent films, I’m a glass three-quarters-full kind of guy. I hope Adopt’s first year profile will resemble the eclectic and high-quality profile, and success, of the first five October Films: Mike Leigh’s ‘Life is Sweet,’ the Russian comedy-drama “Adam’s Rib,’ Gregg Araki’s ground-breaking ‘The Living End,’ Bill Plympton’s first animated feature ‘The Tune,’ and the late Alain Corneau’s masterpiece “Tous les matins du monde.”
Tim Grady said, “Adopt will be in a better position to fully exploit our films in all media because we’ll have fully exploited each film’s table-setting theatrical rights first.” Lipsky adds, “This is the third distribution company I’ve co-launched. For the first October release I chose an amazing Mike Leigh film, for Lot 47 the extraordinary directorial debut by Tim Roth, ‘The War Zone.’ It’s always critical that you put your best foot forward with your debut film and with The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye we’ve found the perfect vehicle with which to have Adopt Films greet the world.”
Marie Losier, director of The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, reports, “I am so happy to have met a ball of energy, ready to put all their talent, passion and dreams into my first feature film! This is going to be a wonderful adventure and a precious honor to be the first Adopt Films release.”
Lipsky and Grady negotiated the deal for Adopt to acquire The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye with Ms. Losier and her producing and business partners Steve Holmgren and Martin Marquet. The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye tells the story of the unlikely and utterly fantastic, real-life love affair between innovative British musician and artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, founder of legendary Industrial Music bands COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle, and Psychic TV, and New York performance artist Lady Jaye (née Jacqueline Breyer). Defying artistic boundaries, Genesis has redefined his art as a challenge to the limits of biology.
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye World Premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival where it won the prestigious Teddy and Caligary Awards. It was also an official selection at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW), Tribeca, Hot Docs (Toronto), and San Francisco International Film Festivals. Ms. Losier, who works almost exclusively on film rather than video, has made over a dozen celebrated shorts, many of which have been showcased in retrospectives of her work worldwide. The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye is her first feature.
Jeff Lipsky is known by everyone in the industry, not just as one of the second generation of pioneering art film distributors, but as a director and producer. When I was VP of Acquisitions at Republic Pictures, we worked together on the theatrical release of Sam Pillsbury's Australian film, Starlight Hotel. He is, as he says, a "a glass three-quarters-full kind of guy". On a mere $5,000 for P&A (!!!), Jeff worked so smoothly and efficiently that I was never embarrassed by the stingy budget for its theatrical release and I have forever after been impressed and charmed by him.
Lipsky began his distribution career with A Woman Under the Influence working alongside his mentor John Cassavetes. He was an executive at New Yorker Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films, and Skouras Pictures. He is also a filmmaker, whose work includes Twelve Thirty, Childhood’s End, and the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition selection Flannel Pajamas.
For the last 23 years, Grady has been the executive producer and exclusive home video rights holder to the Tour de France for North America and the United Kingdom.
For additional information:
jeff AT adoptfilms.com
tim AT adoptfilms.com
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye – Prizes
GRAND PRIZE - IndieLisboa (Portugal)
TEDDY Award (Berlin Film Festival-Forum) CALIGARY Award (Berlin Film Festival-Forum) PRIX LOUIS MARCORELLES and PRIX DES BIBLIOTHÈQUES - Cinema du Reel (France) AUDIENCE Award-Bafici - Buenos Aires Film Festival (Argentina) ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT Award - Outfest Film Festival (USA-Los Angeles) SANFIC-SPECIAL MENTION- International Competition (Ch