Published On: Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016

Peter Bart: Is There Life After Sundance? Billionaire Charles Cohen Builds Art House Empire

 Charles Cohen,    Sundance Film Festival

 

It’s called the “now what” moment. It’s that moment of truth for filmmakers who, having won applause at the Sundance Film Festival and perhaps even secured distribution, now have to ask themselves that dreaded question: How will their film avoid instant oblivion? How will it find an audience?

Frozen River For Charles Cohen, the “now what” moment at the 2008 Sundance prompted, not defeat, but an ambitious business plan — one involving not only his film, Frozen River, but also scores of others searching for a home in the art film universe. Fortunately, Cohen, a billionaire real estate maven, had the resources, and the taste, to implement his grand design. And since I love “grand designs, ” I decided to track down Cohen and ask him about it.

Cohen told me he’d concluded that his passion for art films would make financial sense if he could essentially resurrect the vertical business model of Hollywood’s founders. That meant controlling the intellectual property, the film rights, the distribution and even the theaters where they will exhibited. To that end, the 63-year-old realtor set about to acquire libraries embracing over 800 vintage movies, plus producing a dozen or so new movies…

 

Read the full story at Deadline, by Peter Bart

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Cohen, president of the Cohen Media Group, who distributes largely independently produced films from all over the world, and is being honored for

 

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