EXCLUSIVE: Vice Studios’ Executive Creative Director Danny Gabai has been elevated to Head of Vice Studios U.S., EVP. This is a new position, marking the first time Vice Studios has had a head executive. It’s a recognition of the importance new Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc is putting on growing the company’s film and TV production arm.
Gabai’s promotion comes on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival where Vice Studios has three movies, The Report, Judy & Punch and The Mountain.
They are among seven films from the division set to debut in the first three months of 2019, along with the docu Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, which was just released by Netflix, Lords Of Chaos, Climax as well as The Beach Bum, set to premiere at SXSW. The casts of the features includes Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Matthew McConaughey, Isla FischerJon Hamm, Mia Wasikowska, Rory Culkin, Sofia Boutella and Jeff Goldblum.
Based in Vice’s Venice, CA office and reporting to Dubuc, Gabai will oversee the U.S. Studios team led by Head of Film, Natalie Farrey (Judy & Punch, Her, Where The Wild Things Are) and Head of Scripted Television, Gina Marcheschi who joined the team in the spring of 2018. Head of Business Affairs John Kulback and Chief Financial Officer Helen Grimwood round out the team.
Additionally, Gabai will coordinate efforts for Vice Studios’ international production entities across Canada (led by Vanessa Case and Naveen Prasad), Latin America (run by Andres Reymondes), EMEA (under Vice UK’s CJ Fahey) and APAC (under Hosi Simon). Marcheschi works across all territories, overseeing international scripted television projects; John Kulback oversees the business affairs of all the global studios teams.
“Danny and his team built Vice Studios by rejecting the status quo and championing purveyors of the weird and unexpected,” Dubuc said. “Hit films like Chris Smith’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Jim & Andy, along with Harmony Korine’s much anticipated new project, The Beach Bum showcase Danny’s knack for finding the edge of culture. With his leadership, Vice is a place where storytellers can take their unconventional ideas and make them a reality.”
Gabai was a literary agent at WME with such clients as Roman Coppola and Chris Milk when he left the agency in 2012 after a 10-year stint to join Vice as executive creative director and steer the expansion of the company’s video production and its Los Angeles office, leading to the launch of Vice Studios in 2017.
Under Gabai, the U.S. arm of Vice Studios has produced such feature films, documentaries and TV series as Chris Smith’s Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary Jim And Andy: The Great Beyond; Gaspar Noe’s Climax, winner of the Director’s Fortnight competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival; and Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.
“It’s been a tremendous experience watching Vice Studios grow up from its beginnings as a skunkworks experiment,” Gabai said. “We have a team of creatives all over the world, working with some of the best filmmakers in the industry to bring the cutting edge Vice voice to life. It’s an honor to lead this team.”
Here is Vice Studios’ slate of current/upcoming film releases:
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix Jan 18
Directed by Chris Smith
The Report at Sundance
Directed by Scott Z. Burns and Oscar™ winning producer Steven Soderbergh starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening and Jon Hamm
Judy & Punch at Sundance
The debut film from Australian writer-director Mirrah Foulkes, starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman
The Mountain at Sundance
Directed by Rick Alverson’s starring Jeff Goldblum and Tye Sheridan
Lords Of Chaos, wide release on February 8th
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund, starring Rory Culkin and Emory Cohen will be released by Gunpowder & Sky
Climax, wide release in March 1
Directed by Gaspar Noe, starring Sofia Boutella will be released via A24
The Beach Bum premieres at SXSW March 9th, in theaters March 22nd
Directed by Harmony Korine, starring Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fischer, Snoop Dog and Zac Efron will be released in partnership with Neon Films