People/Biz

Paul Davidson to depart The Orchard

Paul Davidson is leaving his post as executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard. Davidson joined the New York-based indie distributor nearly five years ago. During his tenure ...
March 26, 2019

Paul Davidson is leaving his post as executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard.

Davidson joined the New York-based indie distributor nearly five years ago. During his tenure with the company, Davidson and his team acquired such acclaimed documentaries as Roger Ross Williams’ Life, Animated, a film about how Disney cartoons helped an autistic boy learn, and Matthew Heineman’s Cartel Land, examining the effects of narcotrafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.

This past January, investment firm 1091 Media entered into a deal to acquire The Orchard Film Group from global distribution music company The Orchard. Under the terms of the agreement, 1091 Media will take on all current operations of The Orchard’s film and TV business, before renaming the company. With the sale in place, The Orchard  now plans on shifting its focus back to its core music operations.

According to an internal memo from Davidson, he was offered to lead the new outfit, but turned it down as he is looking to “build something new.”

Read Davidson’s full internal memo below:

When I came to The Orchard almost five years ago, it was clear there was great potential for the film division, which would build off the amazing achievements of the music side of the business, with the same spirit of transparency and true partnership. We saw the opportunity to replicate this success for film directors, producers and content creators, and we launched a new strategy for the film group, bolstered by a stellar, wildly creative team of leaders passionate about film and smart about business.

I’m very proud of what we’ve built with The Orchard in such a short amount of time: a well-recognized brand associated with high-quality films, strategic thinking, collaboration and creativity, and a track record of critically acclaimed (and award-nominated) films including What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, American Animals, The Hero, We the Animals, The Overnight, Birds of Passage, Neruda, Beats Per Minute, Cartel Land, Life, Animated, The Dawn Wall and so many more – about 4,000 more to be exact.  

Now, as the company ends one chapter and begins another, I have made the decision to move on from The Orchard film group. While I am very appreciative that 1091 asked me to continue to run the company in its new iteration, for me the time is right to look toward my own next chapter and build something new. There are exciting things on the horizon, and I look forward to sharing more when I’m able.

I want to thank Brad for his support for all these years. He has always been a huge supporter of what we’ve been doing and has been an incredible partner. Without his support and that of the management team at The Orchard, we would not be where we are today. I also want to thank the entire team, whose hard work and passion attracted a stable of incredible filmmakers, emerging new voices and prolific producing teams which, in turn, spread the word about the valuable brand we’ve built.

This has been an immensely personal journey for me, and I am incredibly proud of the work we have all done together and of the relationships we have forged. I wish you all the very best!

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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