Amazon Studios, Once an Indie Haven, Concludes That Films Are Products

Amazon Studios went bold when it chose the first film to bear its name in 2015 — Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” the gun-violence musical satire based on an Aristophanes play, with a portmanteau title that combined “Chicago” and “Iraq.” It was a tough sell, even for Lee, who said “everybody said no except Amazon.”

It was also that year Amazon assembled an indie dream team to run its film operation — festival-favorite producer Ted Hope, “Pan’s Labyrinth” marketer Bob Berney, and former critic Scott Foundas. For independent filmmakers and audiences who loved them, the e-commerce giant’s foray into movies looked like a much-needed boost.

But just a few years later, that era is over. Although Hope and Foundas are still in place, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke has spent 18 months heading the operation and, as she told the New York Times, she is steering the film division in a new direction:
See full article at Indiewire »

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