Paul Rich newly launched film and television distribution company, BoPaul Media Worldwide (BMW), makes its debut at MIPTV. The company is at MIPTV with more than 800 films - including the RKO library, which is available for Asian TV rights in perpetuity and video rights until 2024. Films included in BoPaul's line-up include Richard Burton's Wild Geese and Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, as well as 150 hours of television series programming.
New offerings at MIPTV include the documentary film, Heaven, by John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon released theatrically by Lionsgate four years ago). Also on the slate are five recent British theatrical films, including Mrs. Caldecott's Cabbage Wars starring Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine, Upstairs Downstairs).
The history of the RKO library is a rich culture of American cinema. In 1928, two titans of their age - David Sarnoff, President of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and Joseph P. Kennedy, father of the future President and owner of the Film Booking Office of America (FBO), a movie distribution company - met at an oyster bar in Manhattan. By the time the meal was over, they'd agreed to combine RCA's Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain with Kennedy's company (as well as the fledgling Pathe Studios) to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum, or the RKO Corporation. By combining film production, distribution, and hundreds of theaters under one umbrella, they knew they had an innovative business model. Little did they know how innovative the company would be.
Over the following two decades, RKO would go on to produce classics in nearly every genre, from comedies: Howard Hawks' Bringing Up Baby (starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn), horror films: the original King Kong (starring Fay Wray), thrillers: Hitchcock's Notorious (starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman), and perhaps the most influential film of all-time, designated by AFI as Number One on their list of the 100 Greatest Movies, Orson Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane. Outstanding Films that stirred audiences, in their own time as well as today worldwide, include Citizen Kane, Fort Apache, King Kong, Gunga Din, Mighty Joe Young, Bringing Up Baby, Suspicion and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Rich, until last year, was senior vice president, ICAP Media/Moving Pictures. Earlier, he owned/operated Trans Atlantic Entertainment and Bennett Media Worldwide. He is a former head of worldwide distribution at De Laurentiis Entertainment and Metromedia Producers Corp.