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Menemsha Films Names Cohen Media EVP Gary Rubin As its COO

Dino-Ray Ramos

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EXCLUSIVE: Gary Rubin, Executive Vice President at Cohen Media, has been tapped for the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer at specialty distributor Menemsha Films.

Neil Friedman, President of Menemsha, unveiled the news today. Established in 1998, Menemsha specializes in Jewish and Israeli-themed films and is believed to be the largest in that sector. The addition of Rubin continues the growth of the company which is believed to be the largest in the Jewish and Israeli cinema. Rubin will continue working at Cohen and step into his new role as COO at Menemsha October 7.

“Our company has had great success over its twenty one year history and we are bringing Gary on board to continue to expand the company’s businesses and increase that success,” said Friedman. “Gary is a talented executive and has an impeccable reputation in the industry which will be a tremendous asset for Menemsha’s strategies for growth.”

“Neil and I have known each other for many years,” added Rubin. “We both feel strongly about our heritage, and the goal is for the entire Menemsha team to work together to develop new revenue streams for the company’s films and new businesses as well. The company might even step outside its core Jewish and Israeli themed niche from time to time with its acquisition strategy”.

Prior to Menemsha and Cohen, Rubin was senior executive at Artisan Entertainment where he was instrumental in the success of the groundbreaking horror pic The Blair Witch Project.  He also created and ran First Independent Pictures which distributed David Mamet’s Edmond, Big Fan starring Patton Oswalt as well as Jewish themed films Holy Rollers starring Jesse Eisenberg and Working Title’s Sixty Six. While at Cohen, he acquired another Jewish-themed pic Deli Man. Menemsha took notice of Rubin’s affinity for Jewish-themed films, which led to his recruitment as COO.

Over the last two and a half years, Menemsha has released Dough starring Jonathan Pryce, the Israeli pic The Women’s Balcony” as well as the Hungarian 1945. The trio of films netted over $1M at the U.S. box office. Menemsha recently acquired another Hungarian title  Those Who Remained which debuted at Telluride and is the Hungarian entry for Best International Feature Film for this year’s Academy Awards. They also distributed The Mover, the Latvian entry for Best International Feature Film for this year’s Oscars. Menemsha will continue to acquire 15-20 films annually and expand its library of over 100 films.

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