The Roxy Hotel Cinema Launches With Submarine Films

Words by Roxy Hotel’s Art Curator, Natalie Kates.

In an era of streaming, videos on demand and a culture obsessed with getting their movies on handheld devices, I’m thrilled to announce the collaboration of Submarine Films and The Roxy Hotel Cinema’s.  Going to the movies is going to be exciting again.  I’m not talking about an overproduced Hollywood blockbuster at a multiplex, But curated art and culture films in an elegant 100 seat theatre with your favorite cocktails spear headed by David Koh of Submarine Films. David is an independent producer, distributor, sales agent, curator & programmer. He has been involved in the acquisition, distribution, marketing, production, financing, release and sale of over 300 films. He is currently a partner with Josh Braun & Dan Braun of Submarine Entertainment who are a boutique sales, distribution, and production company based in NYC. Submarine has been involved with Academy Award Winning Documentaries and other recent titles such as Citizenfour, 20 Feet from Stardom, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Burden, Life Animated, Weiner, Finding Vivian Maier, Cutie & the Boxer and many more. I had a chance to sit down and ask David a couple of questions before our official program begins.

How did this collaboration evolve between Submarine Films and The Roxy?

David Koh: I work on curating & producing projects with my sister and was introduced to you and The Roxy Hotel by a mutual friend. From there I began meeting and discussing ideas and ways to collaborate.We have in the past collaborated with other hotel groups and lifestyle brands to create film salons and ongoing screening series to create ways for people to interact and get together to share experiences and ideas on a regular basis with filmmakers, artists, tastemakers, musicians, friends, influencers. The Roxy Hotel has this incredible new renovated cinema and in great a central part of town for people … and the idea of combining food and drink with a film salon experience is unique in the city. So we are excited to collaborate with you all at the Roxy to share and present some great movies.

Tell us about the program you are curating for the Roxy Cinema?

We will have a selection of art documentaries, music documentaries, new films and special discussions/presentations with filmmakers and artists. We will also be showing docs in the categories of food and fashion. Initial screenings on slate include films Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Wild Style 30th Anniversary presentation, Downtown 81 30th Anniversary presentation, Doug Aitken’s Station to Station and Burden: a Film about artist Chris Burden. A lot of the filmmakers and producers will introduce the film with a Q&A.

How did you end up in the industry?

I studied for a phd in philosophy at the new school and while at school worked with nam June Paik and Jonas Mekas and in the curatorial departments of anthology film archives, the Guggenheim Museum and MoMA. I started distributing independent/foreign language/documentary/experimental films to help get them out to a audiences and began working with filmmakers, artists, producers, financiers. I studied art history with Dore Ashton when I was in NY as well, and it was a real education. Distributing films, exhibiting them, curating and programming is all been an extension of trying to find ways and new platforms to help get work of artists & filmmakers out to the widest audience and to help identify, break and develop new talent.

What are your top five cinemas in the world?

Cinema Excentris in Montreal, The new Faena Rose Theater and Art Centre in Miami, The Arles Outdoor Amphitheater during Rencontres D’arles Photo Fest in July,  Anthology Film Archives & The Metrograph in NYC & The Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn and  Kino International in Berlin.

Do you have a favorite film?

Many, many! Splendor in the Grass, Wild Strawberries, Ikiru, Bicycle Thief, Jules and Jim, Shadows, Pull My Daisy, Murmur of the Heart, Treasure of the Sierra Madre…

Do you have a favorite film soundtrack?

Sheltering Sky by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Purple Rain by Prince and The Harder They Come.

What five films should be on everyones bucket list?

Outside of my favorite films, these are the other ones – Murmur of the Heart, Bicycle Thief, Mouchette, Rules of the Game and  The 400 Blows.