The Angelika brand name is famous in New York City as one of the few remaining vestiges of independent film. Movie buffs escape to the theater on those unbearably hot summer nights. Dedicated fans stand outside the Houston Street theater in the bitter New York winter winds to catch the latest in independent cinema. It is, needless to say, a landmark. But who knew that the charming Angelika is part of a larger entertainment media company with its fingers in everything from casting to distribution? In fact, the establishment wouldn’t be anything at all without its production armâ€”the division that started it all.Angelika Saleh began her movie career in 1969 as an actress and co-producer on the James Ivory production Bombay Talkie. Later, after failing to get distribution for her documentary Streetwise, Saleh charged full-force into self-distribution, acting as producer on the Academy-Award winning film. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The latest development in the Angelika empire is Angelika Classics, a private distribution label meant for the older Angelika films including an anniversary edition of Martin Bellâ€™s Streetwise. “We would like it to function more like an independent record label within a larger media company [rather] than a free-standing operation,” says Angelika Entertainment general manager Barney Oldfield. The classics division will join the Angelika-sponsored NewFilmmaker Series and AngelikaTVâ€”currently producing the YouTube hit “Illeanarama,” starring Illeana Douglas and Jeff Goldblum.
For more information on the Angelika Entertainment Corporation, visit www.angelikafilm.com.
SOUND OFF QUESTION: For those readers based in and around New York City, what was the most memorable moment you’ve had at the Angelika’s Manhattan location? Share your stories in the comments section!