Chris Zarpas

Producer, Executive, Film buyer
Sometimes discovering a gem of a film can make your career. Thus was the case with Chris Zarpas. A law school graduate, he went to work as a film buyer for the East Coast-based Circle Theatres chain. After a screening ... Read more »
Born: in Virginia, USA

Filmography

Producer (10)

Grace Unplugged 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

Navy SEALs: Untold Stories: Canal Zone 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Producer

Navy SEALs: Untold Stories: Vietnam 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Producer

Where the Money Is 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

RKO 281 1999 (Movie)

(Co-Executive Producer)

Clay Pigeons 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Little Death 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Sandlot 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Strictly Business 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Toy Soldiers 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

Sometimes discovering a gem of a film can make your career. Thus was the case with Chris Zarpas. A law school graduate, he went to work as a film buyer for the East Coast-based Circle Theatres chain. After a screening of Ethan and Joel Coen's "Blood Simple", Zarpas returned to his bosses and convinced them to establish a distribution company to handle the film. Circle Films, Inc was established with Zarpas at the helm. The company's first release, "Blood Simple" (1984) not only launched the Coen brothers as creative forces in American cinema but also Zarpas' career as well. A few years later, he joined The Walt Disney Company in the newly-created position of vice president of production and acquisitions for Touchstone Pictures. Zarpas supervised the development of numerous films, including the Bette Midler vehicles "Beaches" (1988) and "Stella" (1990). He was later elevated to president of production and acquisitions. Among the latter was "Can't Buy Me Love" (1987), a Patrick Dempsey teen-oriented film produced by Mark Burg. Burg and Zarpas became partners when they joined Island Pictures, soon rising to the rank of co-president.

The duo also had a working partnership as producers. In this capacity, Zarpas and Burg executive produced the 1991 releases "Toy Soldiers", which featured Sean Astin as the leader a band of bad apple preppies who thwart terrorists, and "Strictly Business", about race and buppies in a real estate firm. The pair was forced out of Island in 1992 after clashes with new CEO Eric Eisner. Their last Island producing venture, "The Sandlot" (1993) was about a shy, brainy boy who comes into his own playing sandlot ball in his new neighborhood.

In 1995, Zarpas was appointed president of Scott Free Productions, the newly formed production company of brothers Ridley and Tony Scott, handling features and TV programs. In addition to his business chores, Zarpas was tapped to serve as executive producer on a number of the company's motion pictures, including the Demi Moore vehicle "GI Jane" (1997) and the black comedy "Clay Pigeons" (1998), with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix. After nearly fours, however, he left Scott Free to pursue a career as an independent producer.

Relationships

Katie Zarpas

Wife

EDUCATION

Brooklyn Law School

Brooklyn , New York 1983

Milestones

1999

Stepped down as president and CEO of Scott Free to pursue career as independent producer

1999

Was a co-executive producer of the acclaimed HBO movie "RKO 281"; film nominated for Emmy as Oustanding Made for Television Movie

1997

Served as an executive producer on "G.I. Jane" and "In Too Deep"

1995

Produced "The Little Death"

1995

Named as president of Scott Free Productions, a company formed by Ridley and Tony Scott

1993

Executive produced "The Sandlot" with Burg

1992

Left Island after Eric Eisner was appointed as CEO

1991

With Burg, was executive producer of "Toy Soldiers" and "Strictly Business"

1990

Promoted to co-president (with Mark Burg) of Island Pictures (date approximate)

1989

Joined Island Pictures in acquisitions

1987

Joined Touchstone Pictures as vice president of production; later named president of production and acquisitions

1984

While working as film buyer for Circle Theatre chain discovered Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple"; convinced company to form Circle Films to distribute the movie

Served as domestic marketing and distribution VP at Circle Releasing

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