Being a dedicated film-goer in New York City throughout the 2000s, I thought I knew all of the key distributon companies of the specialty arthouse films I faithfully followed. So when I made my year-end top ten list for 2009, I was startled to find that three films on my list – Beeswax, 35 Shots of Rum, and 24 City – were all distributed by a company I had never heard of: The Cinema Guild. In 2010 they followed up by releasing my #1 film for that year, Everyone Else. Again, I wondered, who were these guys, and how did they come from out of nowhere to carry so many of my favorite new films?
I was surprised to learn that the company wasn’t a young upstart but had been established since 1968, founded by Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel, producers of several documentaries and features, including the Oscar-winning Robert Duvall vehicle Tender Mercies. In recent years, under the operational guidance of Ryan Krivoshey, the company has experienced something of a revival, steadily increasing its acquisitions of worthy international and American independent films from some of the most intriguing filmmakers working today. The results speak for themselves; at least they’ve made their impact known on my annual top ten lists.
So I am pleased and honored to dedicate this week and next to a fortnight of coverage on Cinema Guild. Each day Keyframe will post essays, interviews, videos and other features related to films from this stellar label. I hope this content will offer you the same sensations of delight and discovery that I had when I first encountered the films of Cinema Guild. Best of all, you can watch the films here on Fandor – click on any of the titles to the left.
FEATURE INDEX (to be updated throughout the two-week Cinema Guild fortnight):