IFC Films Exec Jasper Basch Heads To Variance Films As Distribution Boss

EXCLUSIVE: Distribution executive Jasper Basch is returning to Variance Films, this time as its new Head of Distribution. He will be departing his role as IFC Films’ as its’ Director of Sales and Distribution toward the end of this week, marking the third senior staff departure for the company in two weeks.

Basch originally started his career at Variance rising to become Manager of Distribution. Basch will work with Variance Films Founder and President Dylan Marchetti, partner Kristen Osborne, and distribution executive Ryan Markowitz. 

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“I’m thrilled to be rejoining Dylan and Kristen at Variance Films. Variance was my first employer after graduating college, and growing with them was a wonderful experience. To get to do so for a second time is a privilege beyond anything I could have hoped for,” said Basch.

“The industry is increasingly realizing how critical proper theatrical distribution is to the success of a film, and Variance has been waiting and ready to meet the moment — while continuing to grow and evolve,” said Marchetti.  “Having worked with Jasper for four years, we watched with pride and an increasing amount of jealousy as he brought his insight, drive, instinct, and wealth of pure film intelligence to other great companies, and we are very excited to welcome him back into the fold.”

Basch’s recent departure from the indie stalwart follows the unexpected recent departures of President Arianna Bocco and John Vanco, SVP and GM of IFC Center.

Basch was instrumental in the releases of some of IFC’s most recent theatrical successes, including Skinamarink and IFC’s summer of drive-in distribution that included hits like The Wretched and The Rental. He handled theatrical distribution for IFC’s sister labels as well including Shudder and RLJE Films.

He joined IFC Films as their head of distribution in 2020, overseeing up to 30 releases a year, ranging from full theatrical windows to day-and-date titles that grossed seven figures, such as The Wretched, Relic, and The Rental.

Prior to joining the team at IFC Films, Basch was VP of Theatrical Sales at Greenwich Entertainment, where he handled the distribution of movies including Echo in the Canyon and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. He had previously founded and operated Cartilage Films, an independent film distributor and theatrical booking agency, which was used by Screen Media Films, MUBI, Metrograph Pictures, Paladin, Film Movement, and Arrow Films.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Variance has partnered directly with rights holders of all types of films on theatrical releases. Recent releases include Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-winning Drive My Car and Jerzy Skolimowski’s Oscar-nominated EO for Sideshow/Janus Films, Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave for Mubi, and an innovative re-release of S.S. Rajamouli’s Telugu blockbuster masterpiece RRR that helped kick off a wave of international appreciation culminating in an Academy Award win for Best Original Song, in a campaign also led by Variance; that pic’s domestic haul being $14.5M.

Recent Variance clients include Hidden Empire Film Group, National Geographic Documentary Films, XYZ Films, The Avenue/Highland Film Group, Decal, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, RLJE Films, and Universal. 

Upcoming theatrical releases handled by Variance include Sideshow/Janus Films’ release of Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch’s Cannes film festival title The Eight Mountains on April 28, and Mubi’s release of Ira Sachs’ Passages on Aug. 4.

Over the past year, there’s been massive cutbacks at IFC parent AMC Networks. Back in November they shed 20% of their U.S. workforce or 200 staffers.

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