After almost 17 years on staff at IndieWire as writer, reporter, one-time chief critic, and columnist, Eric Kohn is leaving to join Harmony Korine’s EDGLRD, the new multidisciplinary design collective founded by filmmaker and artist Harmony Korine, as Head of Film Strategy and Development. In the new job, which begins August 30, Kohn will focus on developing new films from emerging and established talent for the experimental creative studio.
Kohn will be sorely missed. A respected journalist who made an impact on film culture, Kohn shared an expansive enthusiasm for movies, independent cinema, and the future of emerging entertainment technology. Most recently named VP, Editorial Strategy and Executive Editor at IndieWire, Kohn started his IndieWire career as a sofa-hopping freelance critic delivering reviews at festivals like Sundance and Cannes.
Kohn said he was inspired by meeting indie heroes such as Bingham Ray. “He was compelled not just by the business but by a passion for the medium itself,” said Kohn on the phone. “IndieWire has been a cult, a religion, and a lifestyle for me. It’s impossible for me to imagine it not being a part of my life. I hope that will continue in some fashion, this idea of being so passionate about the medium that it pervades your professional life.”
Kohn joins EDGLRD’s assembly of global creatives as they work to develop new methods that hasten the creation and distribution of art and media. He’s heading to Venice to attend the September 3 premiere of Korine’s newest film, “Aggro Dr1ft,” which will also screen at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals before its fall opening. Going forward, the studio is planning to release original films, design objects, games, and fashion lines that showcase the breadth of the collective’s practice.
“I’m really excited to be working with Eric Kohn,” said Korine. “He has great insight and adventurous tastes. I can’t wait to see the projects he develops at EDGLRD. We are very happy to have him here with us. He also runs marathons, which I find equally impressive.”
In this new role, Kohn will be responsible for the development of new films from emerging and established talent, synchronizing these initiatives with EDGLRD’s overarching mission and evolution. Kohn will work directly with Korine to brainstorm and conceptualize new techniques. He brings his long-term interest in new media, including XR, AI, gaming, and other cutting-edge fields.
“Eric is a great writer, an original thinker, and has a singular energy for identifying great creators,” said Dana Harris-Bridson, Senior VP and Editor-In-Chief at IndieWire. “But, as I told him, other than IndieWire, there may be no job better suited to his skills and passions than developing projects for Harmony Korine’s new AI production company. He’s an eternal optimist who knows that the next new voices are around the corner, and he’s dogged enough to be the one who finds them.”
Kohn said that EDGLRD will take an “innovative approach to development (that will) allow me to bring filmmakers into a new context to produce their work and explore what the future of filmmaking might look like,” Kohn said. “The company creates a new experience from conventional feature films. You may see other media outgrowths like games and new media. Our team is well set up to explore all these different avenues. I’m excited to see where it leads and what the next generation of filmmakers is thinking as we create a fresh context for what cinema is going to be.”
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Eric since he joined IndieWire in 2007,” said James Israel, Senior VP and Publisher at IndieWire. “He immediately impressed me with his deep knowledge and boundless enthusiasm for all things cinema, whether the latest work by a huge auteur or the smallest-budget indie by a new talent. While his immense presence at IndieWire will be missed, I will be excited to see his expertise develop the next generation of entertainment and storytelling.”
At IndieWire, Kohn delivered an array of initiatives including educational projects, events, and in-depth profiles. He has covered the industry, traveling to international film festivals and chronicling a range of film and TV talent. He has co-hosted the weekly podcast “Screen Talk” since 2014 and wrote a weekly column, “Kohn’s Corner,” devoted to the sustainability of the American film industry.
In addition to his contributions to IndieWire, Kohn is a co-founder of the Critics Academy, a series of educational workshops for aspiring entertainment journalists, and teaches film criticism at NYU. He served as the 2018-19 chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle and as a member of the jury for Critics Week at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Prior to joining IndieWire, Eric contributed to the New York Times and other outlets.