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Industry Veteran Bingham Ray to Head United Artists.

Entertainment Editors


Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM) has appointed highly acclaimed independent filmmaker Bingham Ray to serve as President of United Artists (UA), the Company's specialty film unit, effective September 1, 2001. The announcement was made today by Chris McGurk, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of MGM, to whom Mr. Ray will report. Mr. Ray will be charged with overseeing all aspects of United Artists' operations. As part of the appointment, UA's main office will be relocated to New York.

"Bingham is one of the most talented and highly regarded independent filmmakers in the business," said Mr. McGurk. "I have worked with Bingham for many years dating back to his days as head of October Films, and I believe that his inherent passion for filmmaking, combined with his impeccable creative instincts, make him the ideal choice to lead United Artists and further advance its unparalleled legacy."

Added Mr. Ray: "I want to thank the entire MGM team for this exceptionally exciting opportunity to continue the proud heritage of a studio that was originally founded by filmmakers. United Artists has traditionally been defined by its independent spirit -- a trait that will continue to distinguish our efforts going forward. We will aggressively work to reinforce and enhance the studio's successful filmmaker-friendly environment and effectively reposition United Artists for a new century."

Continued Mr. McGurk: "True to its traditions, United Artists currently is collaborating with an exceptional consortium of producers, including those from its most recent arrangement with Crossroads Films. We look forward to working closely with Crossroads' extremely talented team and consider them an ideal complement to our outstanding roster of producers from American Zoetrope, GreeneStreet Films, Fireball Films, Single Cell Pictures, and Revolution Films."

Mr. Ray comes to United Artists from Crossroads Films, an award-winning New York and Los Angeles-based commercial production company, where he along with Dan Lindau and Cami Taylor were responsible for successfully launching and overseeing the group's feature film division. UA and Crossroads currently have a three-year, first-look production arrangement that will continue following Mr. Ray's appointment to UA.

Previously, Mr. Ray spent nearly 10 years with independent film company October Films, which he co-founded in 1991. During his tenure there, he cultivated relationships with such celebrated filmmakers as Mike Leigh, Lars Von Trier, David Lynch, Thomas Vinterberg, Stanley Tucci, John Dahl, and Robert Duvall, among many others. These relationships resulted in such critically acclaimed, award-winning films as "Life Is Sweet," "Secrets and Lies," "Topsy-Turvy," "Breaking the Waves," "The Celebration," "The Last Seduction," "Joe Gould's Secret," and "The Apostle," to name a few.

Among United Artists' 2001-2002 releases is the highly praised dark comedy "Ghost World," featuring the talented ensemble cast of Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi, Scarlett Johansson and Illeana Douglas; the supernatural thriller "Jeepers Creepers," executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gina Philips and Justin Long; the coming-of-age drama "Deuces Wild," with Stephen Dorff, Fairuza Balk and Frankie Muniz; "City of Ghosts," a compelling drama written, directed by and starring Matt Dillon; the satirical drama "No Man's Land," set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War; "Assassination Tango," a suspense drama directed by and starring Robert Duval and produced by Francis Ford Coppola; the dramatic comedy "Igby Goes Down," featuring a stellar cast including Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Ryan Phillippe, and Claire Danes; and "Plague Season," an action drama toplining Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames.

True to its distinctive 82-year heritage as a haven for independent filmmakers, today's United Artists continues as the specialty film unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., involved in the production and acquisition of films for global distribution. Established in 1919 by the film luminaries Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, UA immediately established a new direction for the motion picture business. Currently, United Artists shares distribution and marketing support with MGM Pictures.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM), through its Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. subsidiary, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. Its operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists, MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Networks, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, MGM Home Entertainment, MGM Consumer Products, MGM Music, MGM Interactive, and

In addition, MGM has acquired a 20 percent ownership interest in four of Rainbow Media's successful national cable networks -- American Movie Classics (AMC), Bravo, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) and WE: Women's Entertainment (formerly Romance Classics), and holds equity interests in 14 television channels internationally. For more information on MGM, visit MGM online at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 2, 2001
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