Artisan Entertainment president Bill Block is resigning from the company to seek "other investment and restructuring opportunities". Block, who will remain a shareholder in the company, says he plans to consult with other companies on their merger and financing strategies.
Block's departure leaves Artisan CEO Amir Malin in sole charge of the company which has a library of over 6,700 titles and remains one of the only independents left in the business. Block, Malin and Mark Curcio formed a management troika put in place after Bain Capital had bought out Live Entertainment in 1997, redubbing it Artisan in 1998 and forging into production and financing of films by Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski and Atom Egoyan among others as well as buying a 5% stake in Patrick Wachsberger's leading international sales company Summit Entertainment. Curcio resigned in June 2000.
At Artisan, Block oversaw new productions such as Soderbergh's The Limey and Polanski's The Ninth Gate and internet initiatives as well as getting involved in acquisitions such as Darren Aronofsky's first two films Pi and Requiem For A Dream and of course the film which proved solid gold for Artisan - The Blair Witch Project.
Before Artisan, he was head of west coast operations for International Creative Management (ICM) from 1992 to 1997 and founder of the Intertalent Agency. His clients included actors Steven Seagal, Kim Basinger, Samuel L Jackson, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and Forest Whitaker and film-makers Roland Emmerich, Sam Raimi, William Friedkin and Herbert Ross.
Meanwhile, after a lull in production activities, Artisan plans to start shooting two pictures before the end of the year - Kirk Wong's Iron Fist, the first film out of its partnership with Marvel Enterprises, and Dirty Dancing 2 in partnership with Miramax Films.