Michael Silberman has been named COO and president of distribution and marketing at IDP - Independent Distribution Partners - the newly formed North American distribution joint venture between CanWest Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stratosphere Releasing.

Silberman was previously senior vice president of distribution at October Films where he was responsible for the theatrical releases of hit pictures including Secrets And Lies, The Apostle and Breaking The Waves. He also previously held positions at The Samuel Goldwyn Co (as it was then), Vestron and Aries Film Releasing.

IDP is modelled after United International Pictures (UIP). In the same way that Paramount, Universal and MGM feed their own pictures into a single marketing and distribution organisation UIP, CanWest, Goldwyn and Stratosphere will feed IDP under Silberman with product for the domestic market.

IDP plans to release about 20 films a year. First off the block are Liv Ullman's Faithless and Benito Zombrano's Solas from Samuel Goldwyn and Stephen Metcalfe's Beautiful Joe and Kevin Jordan's Goat On Fire And Smiling Fish from Stratosphere.

Silberman will be based in New York and reports to the three partners in IDP - Jay Firestone of CanWest, Samuel Goldwyn Jr and Carl Icahn of Stratosphere.