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How Bleecker Street Survived a Decade in the Tumultous Indie Film Business

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Brent Lang Executive Editor When Andrew Karpen wants to convince a filmmaker to let him release their movie, he doesn’t blow them away by offering more and more money.

For one thing, Bleecker Street, the indie studio he founded in 2014, doesn’t have the financial firepower of an Apple or a Netflix. “Our pitch is always centered around the kind of experience that they will have with us, knowing that we will be collaborative and transparent,” Karpen says. “I always say, ‘This is not a campaign where you will just be emailed the final poster and trailer and given two tickets to the premiere.’” And over nearly 70 films, that openness has kept Karpen and his small but mighty staff in the game.

While Bleecker is celebrating its 10th anniversary, many of its competitors haven’t managed to survive in a business that’s only become more treacherous to navigate.

Several of Bleecker’s contemporaries, including Broad Green, Open Road Films and Solstice Studios, debuted with deep-pocketed backers, made splashy acquisitions and announced star-studded projects, only to close shop, go bankrupt or be sold for parts.

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