Paul Hardart had been working in Los Angeles for nine years when he decided to move back to New York and set up Adirondack Pictures with his brother Tom.
In Los Angeles, Paul created and co-ran (with Claudia Gray) Universal Focus, the specialty division of Universal Pictures. He also founded Universal's library management initiative, which led to the reissuing of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Orson Welles' Touch Of Evil.
Tom Hardart, meanwhile, was vice-president at internet service provider America Online (AOL) in Washington DC.
With a goal of financing indie productions using tax credits, the brothers approached private equity financiers, who agreed to fully back their company.
Named after the mountain range in northeast New York State, Adirondack was launched in 2004. But, as Paul points out, much has changed in the world of indie film financing since the company's inception.
"At the time there were German funds and the UK sale-and-leaseback scheme. And the DVD market was in good shape," he explains. "But there have been some big changes over the last few years - the plateau of the DVD market, the German funds have dried up, and the UK sale and leaseback no longer exists."
Independent producers are also facing changes in the distribution sector, he says, with the growth of services such as online DVD rental site Netflix and new digital competition.
"Being small though, we can be flexible," says Hardart.
Today, Adirondack produces and co-finances three to five films a year with budgets of $10m or less, and selectively provides gap, bridge and p&a financing. The company is also about to co-distribute - with IFC Films - its first theatrical release, the Rwanda genocide drama Shooting Dogs.
The UK film, renamed Beyond The Gates for the US market, will start its release in New York on March 9.
Adirondack also has several new projects in various stages of production: Annie Leibowitz: Life Through A Lens, a recently completed PBS documentary on the celebrated photographer; an untitled love story set in India in 1937; and Uncorked: Wine Made Simpler, a 6-part PBS documentary.
"Our criteria is really to like the project and the people we work with," says Hardart.