Howard Cohen is leaving UTA and will team up with Lovely & Amazing producer Eric d'Arbeloff to launchRoadside Attractions, a new US independent distribution company that willinitially focus on acquisitions.

Roadside Attractions will join Samuel Goldwyn Films as a partnerin the US distribution joint venture Independent Distribution Partners (IDP)and will pick up US and UK independents as well as foreign-language titles anddocumentaries.

Cohen's departure from the talent agency is expected within thenext few weeks. During his time there he was responsible for packaging andselling more than 50 titles, including Igby Goes Down, State And Main and the upcoming Girl With A PearlEarring.

"The time feels right to launch a true independent distributor,"Cohen said in a statement. "There is more consolidation on the distributionfront than ever, and the studio specialised divisions are becoming more focusedon production, leaving many great films without distribution.

"We want to create a company to help film-makers and their filmsstand out in the US market. Having grown up in the business as the buyer forSam and Meyer at Goldwyn, it feels great to come back and partner with them inthis next phase of my career.

"I want to also thank my colleagues and clients at UTA for theirenthusiastic support, and I look forward to working with them in a new capacityat Roadside Attractions."

"I've seen how important good distribution has been for my ownfilms and I'm excited to shepherd films in this crucial part of the business,"d'Arbeloff added. "We will look out for films that are smart, funny and edgy,whether classic art or cross-over - whatever we see and love."

"Roadside is a perfect partner because we've known and worked withHoward for many years and we share his and Eric's passion for quality films,"Meyer Gottlieb, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films, said. "I look forward toworking with them as partners in IDP."

IDP was originally set up as a distribution conduit for filmsacquired by Goldwyn, Stratosphere and Fireworks but the last two companies havesubsequently ceased operating, leaving Goldwyn alone in IDP which is operatedby Michael Silbermann and RJ Millard.

D'Arbeloff's producer credits include Lovely & Amazing and Trick, the telefilm They Nest for USA Network and the documentary LifetimeGuarantee: Phranc'sAdventures In Plastic.He previously worked for Fox Family Films and producer Roger Corman. Hisproduction company - which was formerly known as Roadside Attractions - will berenamed.

Prior to joining UTA, Cohen worked at the Samuel Goldwyn Companyfrom 1987-1994, where he acquired, supervised or developed such films as TheWedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Truly Madly Deeply, Much Ado AboutNothing and TheMadness Of King George.

UTA partner Jeremy Zimmer paid tribute to Cohen's : "taste,integrity and reputation" adding: "It is those attributes that will serve himwell in this new opportunity. We are grateful to Howard for his manycontributions and pleased that he leaves us as a vital force in the indiebusiness."