Kino Lorber’s Wendy Lidell Stepping Down As Theatrical Acquisitions & Distribution Chief  

Executives, Kino Lorber, Movies, News, Richard Lorber, Wendy Lidell

EXCLUSIVE: Kino Lorber SVP of Theatrical Acquisitions & Distribution Wendy Lidell will depart the company at the end of June following a great eight year run at the indie distributor.

The company’s Chief Revenue Officer Lisa Schwartz will oversee theatrical distribution and acquisitions in the interim and will continue to report to President Ed Carroll. Reporting to Schwartz will be SVP Marketing and Communications Nicholas Kemp, VP Press and Publicity Kate Patterson, VP Theatrical Distribution & Repertory Acquisitions George Schmalz, and Director Theatrical Distribution Maxwell Wolkin.

Schwartz and Carroll, former top executives at AMC Networks, joined Kino Lorber in early 2023.

Lidell has been at Kino Lorber since 2016, overseeing all theatrical acquisitions and distribution efforts and shepherding three documentaries to Oscar nominations – Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea, Talal Derki’s Of Fathers and Sons most recently Kaouther Ben Hania’s decorated Four Daughters.

Other theatrical releases on her watch include Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, Tom of Finland, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, and Obit.

Lidell was previously president of International Film Circuit, an organization she founded in 1987 with support from the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations, that introduced filmmakers such as Alexander Sokurov, Raúl Ruiz, Nanni Moretti and Hou Hsiao-hsien to the U.S. market. The group was acquired by Lorber in 1998 and became the theatrical division of Fox Lorber.

Lidell ran the company (which later became Winstar and Wellspring) through 2004, overseeing the release of arthouse classics from Edward Yang’s Yi Yi and François Ozon’s Under the Sand to Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark, a surprise box office hit that grossed over $3 million at the domestic box office.

“It’s with mixed emotions that I say farewell to Wendy, one of the shining lights of Kino Lorber and my dear friend and colleague. Wendy is the rarest amalgam of smart cinephile and canny business executive whose deft touch, even in the toughest deals and most challenging times, left only smiles in her wake,” said Kino Lorber chair and CEO Richard Lorber. “I could name her many accomplishments, including hundreds of film acquisitions, numerous box office successes, countless awards and accolades, and steadfast pandemic leadership, but the list would go on and on. While I am sad to see her depart, I’m happy to see her pursue her own professional endeavors and personal pleasures, and wish her all the success in the world.”

Said Lidell, “It has been extremely gratifying to be able to work with the brilliant and visionary Richard Lorber over the last eight years, and I am proud of what he and I have accomplished together. I now look forward to my next chapter and continuing to follow my passion for bringing great films from around the world to American audiences, secure in the knowledge that I leave the work of theatrical distribution in the hands of a talented team of professionals I have had the privilege of leading during my years at the company.”

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