She replaces Jack Foley, who exited his post at President of Distribution last year. A highly respected industry vet in exhibition and distribution circles, Foley was at Bleecker Street since its launch and worked with CEO Andrew Karpen for several years at Focus Features prior.
In her role, Whelan will oversee all aspects of theatrical distribution strategies, planning and execution and manage our existing distribution team.
She comes to Bleecker having been in the distribution field for over 35 years. Previously, she was the VP of Distribution for Searchlight for 14 years having worked on award-winning titles as 12 Years a Slave, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, Birdman, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire. Prior to Searchlight she held positions at Sony Pictures Classics, Miramax and MK2 USA. Whelan started her career at Orion Classics with the campaign on Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. She received her MA from the NYU Cinema Studies program.
“Her experience with commercial hits and arthouse fare are well proven and I couldn’t be more pleased to have Derval join our team,” said Bleecker Street CEO Karpen. “We look forward to Derval leading the charge as theaters around the country begin to reopen and our audiences can enjoy seeing films on the big screen again.”
Bleecker Street’s upcoming films include the Sundance comedy, Together Together with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison on April 23; and Dream Horse starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis on May 21 and The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 on July 9. Recent releases include the Sundance and Venice Film Festival romance, The World to Come with Katherine Waterston and this year’s Oscar nominee Vanessa Kirby; Supernova starring Oscar winner Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci; Kitty Green’s The Assistant with Julia Garner; and Wild Mountain Thyme with Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan.