IFC has a new leader. AMC Networks has named Scott Shooman to head its Film Group, which includes IFC Films, RLJE Films and movies for streaming service Shudder, the company announced Tuesday.
Shooman gets the full-time official role after having been interim chief since the end of March this year. He was elevated to the interim role in the wake of an exodus of veteran talent from the independent distributor, which included president Arianna Bocco, public relations manager Laura Sok, senior publicist Kate McEdwards, sales manager Jasper Bach and head of ‘IFC Center John Vanco, all within weeks of each other.
In his new role, Shooman will oversee acquisitions, theatrical distribution, production and development for all three brands, as well as the IFC Center. He reports to Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for parent company AMC Networks.
“Films are an important focal point for our company and we are thrilled to have Scott lead our efforts across our three distinctive, successful and long-established film brands: IFC Films, RLJE Films and Shudder,” McDermott said in an official statement. . “He has a wealth of industry experience, but also a fresh eye and directorial approach that aligns perfectly with our strong history of elevating independent and thought-provoking storytelling.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead and work alongside one of the most passionate teams in the industry in supporting and bringing truly independent and boundary-pushing films to passionate fans across our IFC Films, RLJE Films and Shudder ecosystems,” he said. said Shooman in his own statement. “We will continue to leverage the synergy of our great brands and are incredibly excited by our strong slate of films that underscore the kind of innovative and groundbreaking stories for which we are known and continue to elevate ourselves. The AMC Networks Film Group is uniquely positioned with this suite of divisions to broadly capitalize on our reputation for quality, curation and commercialization across all windows at this moment of evolution for filmmaking.”
Shooman joined IFC Films in 2022 as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Production and led the acquisition team in the acquisition of nearly 30 films for both the IFC Films and IFC Midnight brands. He has been behind the acquisitions and distribution of recent IFC titles such as ‘Watcher’, ‘Skinamarink’, ‘The Lost King’ and ‘Corsage’.
Prior to joining IFC, Shooman held senior management roles at Endeavor Content, CBS Films, Sony Pictures Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group and worked on such titles as “Hell or High Water,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” The Raid, “Seven Psychopaths”, “The Squid and the Whale” and more.
Following Bocco’s departure, IndieWire reported on the challenges and future of IFC Films, which included cost cuts at parent company AMC Networks and trying to do more with fewer resources. Shooman told IndieWire at the time that IFC is “a vital and thriving business within AMC Networks,” and McDermott reiterated that despite the job exodus, the three brands were a “significant part of the future of AMC”.
McDermott explained to IndieWire in May that Shooman would be tasked with better combining the assets of all three film brands, as with the January release of the no-budget horror effort “Skinamarink,” a Shudder acquisition that grossed $2 million in IFC’s limited publication. McDermott also noted a broader focus in its streaming strategy and bringing other titles to Shudder and AMC+.
Since being named interim head, IFC Films has distributed Matt Johnson’s “BlackBerry,” which grossed over $2.5 million at the domestic box office, and “Biosphere,” starring Mark Duplass and Sterling K. Brown, which was released on July 7 and grossed just over $33,000. The distributor, together with Sapan Studios, also recently acquired Juliette Binoche’s novel “The Pot-Au-Feu” out of competition at Cannes. Upcoming, the studio will release the documentary “Lakota Nation vs. United States” and Nicolas Cage’s thriller “Sympathy for the Devil.”