Former Fox Executive Aviv Joins TPG-Pritzker Backed Group

Oren Aviv, a former film executive at 21st Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co., will join a new studio backed by TPG Capital and Gigi Pritzker as head of motion pictures.

The Los Angeles-based company, founded by producer Robert Simonds, will distribute as many 10 films a year, according to a statement today. The venture, which doesn’t have a name yet, will make films that cost $20 million to $60 million.

The company has raised more than $1 billion to spend on films over the next five years, Simonds said in a telephone interview. Major film studios are focused on making fewer, larger-budget films, creating an opportunity in the market for producers of less-expensive motion pictures.

“Our goal is to fill that vacuum,” Simonds said.

Simonds has 37 producer credits, according to, including the 2006 reboot of the “The Pink Panther” series. Aviv was most recently chief marketing officer at Fox.

The four-month-old studio is producing the NBC drama “State of Affairs,” starring Katherine Heigl. The show will debut in November, according to the statement.

Board members include Pritzker, TPG Capital’s David Bonderman, Frank Biondi, former president and chief executive officer of Viacom Inc., and former Fox Networks Chief Tony Vinciquerra.

The new company will market and distribute its films to theaters without the backing of a large studio, a business model that attracted Aviv, he said in an interview.

“I wanted to be part of something that hasn’t been done in decades, building a new studio from the ground up.” he said.

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