Susan Margolin, Co-President
Susan Margolin is Co-President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a state of the art digital distributor of award-winning independent films and alternative content. In April 2012, Cinedigm acquired Susan Margolin and Steve Savage’s New Video Group, and formed Cinedigm Entertainment Group, the first full-service end-to-end digital releasing studio specializing in acquiring and distributing independent films and specialty content both theatrically and through digital, mobile and home media platforms.
With more than 25 years experience in the distribution business, Susan has built a reputation as a keen marketer, astute sales professional and dedicated supporter of filmmakers and the independent film community. In 1991, she launched New Video as an independent home entertainment distributor with Savage. At the time of its acquisition, New Video boasted more than 500 content partners, including A+E®, HISTORY™, Lifetime, Tribeca Films, Sundance Institute, Major League Baseball® and Scholastic®. The 20-year-old company grew from a highly regarded home entertainment distribution company of quality packaged content to a worldwide content aggregator and distributor of feature films, TV programs and series, and web originals via digital download, streaming media, cable VOD, Blu-ray and DVD, and limited theatrical release.
Since launching Docurama Films® in 1999, Margolin has championed more than 300 celebrated, award-winning non-fiction films, from D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back on DVD/Blu-ray to the theatrical releases of Hell and Back Again (2011) and The Invisible War (2012). Flatiron Film Company was launched in 2011 as a brand for narrative independent films and original web series, including the theatrical/VOD/digital/DVD release of Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. She has spearheaded numerous inedependent and festival titles and brought them to a wider ancillary and digital market, including the Oscar®-nominated films Waste Land, GasLand and Paradise Lost 3. In 2011, New Video signed on as Sundance Institute’s exclusive digital content aggregation partner for Sundance Film Festival and Lab titles, providing a unique gateway to digital distribution that emphasizes filmmaker ownership.
A graduate of Brown University, Margolin is a board member of BAFTA NY and is a member of IFP and New York Women in Film and Television, where she serves on the advisory board. With Savage, she is a 2011 Producers Guild of America “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment” honoree.
Steve Savage, Co-President
A movie mecca catering to sophisticated and selective consumers. A center for hip and knowledgeable film viewers. An outlet for independent film and video producers. Welcome to New Video…circa 1981. With two friends and $25,000 seed money, film fanatic Steve Savage opened his first video rental store in a basement in Greenwich Village, stocked with only 150 videocassettes – mostly elegant classics and arthouse films (Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast), with a few blockbusters thrown in to help expand the store’s nascent clientele (Back to the Future). Today, with Co-President Susan Margolin, Steve Savage leads one of North America’s largest independent entertainment distributors, with more than 10,000 titles and an international sales presence in 45 territories (25,000 retail outlets). Just as he succeeded in launching, expanding and marketing what grew to become a chain of brick-and-mortar stores, Savage remains at the forefront of home entertainment’s evolution. In 1988, Savage sold the New Video chain of stores to Vestron, Inc., where he became VP of Marketing for Vestron’s chain of 85 stores. In 1991, he re-launched New Video as an independent DVD and digital distributor with Margolin. New Video now boasts more than 500 content partners, including Tribeca Films, Sundance Institute, A+E®, HISTORY™, Major League Baseball® and Scholastic®.The launch of New Video’s Docurama Films (1999) and Flatiron Film Company (2011) demonstrate Savage’s longstanding commitment to independent film and filmmaker-centric business practices, as does New Video’s distribution of Arthouse Films, Plexifilm and China Lion titles. In the past three years, Savage has transitioned New Video to become a distributor for entertainment’s digital age. Beginning as a launch partner for Apple’s iTunes movie store and Netflix Watch Instantly, New Video has rapidly expanded its aggregation partners to include Xbox, Playstation, Amazon VOD and Hulu. Today, New Video is the largest digital content aggregator in the world with a library of digital content consisting of more than 3,500 feature films and 6,000 television episodes delivered to digital platforms worldwide. With Susan Margolin, Steve is among this year’s “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment” honorees, an annual award given by the Producers Guild of America.
Mark Kashden, VP Acquisitions As New Video’s Vice President, Acquisitions, Mark Kashden oversees acquisitions of film and television entertainment content for distribution across DVD, digital, VOD and theatrical platforms. Since joining New Video in 1991 as Account Manager for A&E Home Video, Kashden’s role has evolved into launching, developing and growing New Video’s independent brands, including Docurama Films, Flatiron Film Company, Tribeca Film, China Lion, Arthouse Films and Plexifilm. Kashden is a key driver in expanding content in New Video’s library for cross-platform distribution, with recent titles including Danfung Dennis’s critically acclaimed documentary Hell and Back Again, José Padilha’s Brazilian blockbuster Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Joss Whedon’s musical web phenomenon Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, gamer sensation Red vs. Blue, and Oscar® nominees GasLand and Waste Land.
Erick Opeka, VP Digital Distribution As Vice President of Digital Distribution for New Video, Erick Opeka directs the company’s content strategy, development and operations across multiple digital platforms, including cable TV, subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD), electronic sell-through, TV, and IPTV. Erick has been responsible for growing the company to become the largest aggregator of digital content in North America. In the last three years, the digital group has increased revenue more than 408% and has added more than 15 new digital retail partners – many of which are exclusive relationships. Erick’s team team now manages content distribution for more than 400 filmmakers, TV and film producers, and small to midsize distributors. Previously, Erick spearheaded New Video’s business development efforts, leading to the company’s selection as the first iTunes aggregation Video partner. Prior to that, Erick managed home entertainment releases for the A&E Home Entertainment line and New Video’s Docurama Films label. Widely recognized in his field, Erick was recently named a 2011 Digital Driver by Home Media Magazine. He is a frequent moderator and speaker at industry events including Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Digital Hollywood, Digital Media Pipeline, AFM, and Independent Film Week (IFP), among others. He is also a member of the International Academy of Web Television. Erick received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University.
Stephanie Bruder, VP Marketing
Stephanie Bruder oversees marketing for all of New Video’s distribution businesses, including physical, digital, theatrical and corporate initiatives. Recent and upcoming releases include Hell and Back Again, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Transcendent Man, The Double Hour, Hot Coffee, Being Elmo, Urbanized and Aftershock. As Head of Digital Sales & Marketing from 2007-2011, Ms. Bruder was instrumental in the growth and development of New Video’s digital distribution, releasing the industry-first digital premiere of Edward Burns’ Purple Violets, Oscar® nominees Restrepo, Waste Land and GasLand, classic television properties Highlander and 21 Jumpstreet, and web series including The Guild to digital platforms. During her tenure, the digital arm grew rapidly, releasing 1400 independent feature films and hundreds of television seasons, and secured partnerships with 13 new platforms and territories. Ms. Bruder has worked with distribution partners to launch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Bill Cunningham New York, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Kiss of the Spider Woman to digital platforms. Throughout her career, Ms. Bruder has distinguished herself with the ability to identify well-matched opportunities to reach new audiences. Prior to New Video, Bruder headed online marketing initiatives for KOCH Lorber Films, and managed online and additive campaigns for Focus Features and Universal Pictures at marketing firm Special Ops Media. She is a graduate of Brown University and member of New York Women in Film and Television.
April Benavides, Brand Director In 2008, April Benavides joined New Video, where she oversees consumer and trade marketing and promotion for film and entertainment content releasing on streaming and download digital platforms, VOD and DVD. April manages the library of more than 300 titles under New Video’s prestigious Docurama Films brand, plus new titles including Hell and Back Again, Oscar® nominee GasLand and digital and Blu-ray releases of classics such as Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back and Rivers and Tides. She also oversees product development and marketing for titles under the Arthouse Films, Flatiron Film Company, Tribeca Film, Plexifilm and China Lion brands, including Red vs. Blue, The Guild, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, and Oscar® nominees Waste Land and The Secret of Kells. After several years in book publishing, including time at HarperCollins Publishers, Benavides moved into film and television, working on marketing and publicity for theatrical releases including 28 Days Later and Bend It Like Beckham at Fox Searchlight Pictures and TV series such as “Stargate: Atlantis” at SciFi Channel. She began her career in home entertainment marketing in 2004 at BBC Video, shepherding DVD releases of such classics as As Time Goes By and edgy fare like Nighty Night. Her next post at HBO Video granted her opportunities to work on DVD releases of “Sex and the City,” “Entourage,” “The Wire” and “The Sopranos,” including the mammoth 33-DVD “The Sopranos: The Complete Series” megaset.