EXCLUSIVE: Roadside Attractions, the Oscar winning distributor of such movies as Judy and Manchester by the Sea, saw a shake-up today with two of its longtime executives, Marketing Boss Dennis O’Connor and SVP of Publicity, David Pollick departing the company, in addition to other cuts in their departments.
Also departing is Head of Field Publicity Ronit Vanderlinden and David Hawkins in Distribution, we hear.
Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents and Co-Founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff tell Deadline, “As we emerge from COVID and assemble a new slate of films for the changing theatrical marketplace, we have decided to restructure Roadside’s marketing and distribution organization for the near-term future.”
Lionsgate continues to maintain a 40% stake in Roadside Attractions, and the distributor remains one committed to theatrical with their releases seeing subsequent PVOD, DVD and streaming windows.
“A number of veteran team members at Roadside will be taking on additional responsibilities: James Teel will be leading creative advertising, Melissa Yerou will be leading digital marketing, Charlie Nelson will be leading our PR efforts, and Rikkel Bravo will be Senior Director of Publicity,” continued Cohen and d’Arbeloff, while also giving a shoutout to vets O’Connor, who has been at the company for 14 years, and Pollick, who has been there for 11 years.
“Two longtime executives, Dennis O’Connor, our head of marketing, and David Pollick, our Senior VP of Publicity will be leaving Roadside. Dennis and David are phenomenal, respected leaders and we are enormously grateful for their collective contributions to our company over so many years. They will each help as we make a seamless transition to the new team and structure, and David will be staying on thru the end of the year,” read Cohen and D’Arbeloff’s statement to Deadline.
They concluded, “We look forward to beginning 2022 with a strong slate of acquisitions. Upcoming from Roadside next year are Cannes Film Festival Official Selection Aline and Toronto titles Lakewood and Benediction; additional new pick-ups will be announced soon.”
As Roadside Attractions’ heads of marketing and publicity, respectively, Dennis O’Connor and David Pollick worked hand in glove growing the distributor to one of the few indie smart house destinations, attracting top tier filmmakers and awards contenders; both executives being integral to Roadside’s half billion dollars in box office receipts.
Prior to Roadside Attractions, O’Connor held Executive marketing positions at United Artists, Picturehouse, Universal Focus and HBO Films where he engineered campaigns for such acclaimed films as Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, Michael Moore’s Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine; David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive; Gus Van Sant’s Palme d’Or winner, Elephant; and Guillermo del Toro’s Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, which at the time of release was the highest grossing Spanish language film in history with $83.8M WW. He has served as an adjunct professor teaching Movie Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
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