Wolfe Releasing, the world’s largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films, has named Jim Stephens Co-President. The announcement was made by Founder and Board member Kathy Wolfe. Stephens will share duties running the company with Co-President Maria Lynn.

“We are thrilled to have Jim on board and leverage his experience as a seasoned executive. His passion for LGBT films will add a new perspective to the company as we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities facing the independent film market,” said Wolfe.

Stephens, who is a member of the Producers Guild of America and sits on Wolfe’s Board of Directors, has been involved in the release of award-winning LGBT films such as Reaching for the Moon, I Am Divine, Free Fall, Pit Stop, Five Dances and Tru Love. He was also an executive producer on Love is Strange, starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, which is nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards; and Getting Go: The Go Doc Project. He was co-producer of Ten Thousand Saints which will premiere at Sundance next month, and an investor in the 2014 Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris.

Stephens served on the Board of Directors of Frameline, the nonprofit media arts organization that produces the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (2008-2013,) and was the Board President in 2013. He also served on the national Board of Directors of Lambda Legal (2008-2012.) Previously he was Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales and Field Operations at Adobe Systems, the pioneer and leader of digital arts media, where he was employed for more than 15 years.

“I am looking forward to working with Kathy and Maria to expand the reach of Wolfe through high-quality LGBT films. Wolfe has a bright future, not only because of new distribution platforms, but also because of the increasing quality of LGBT films being made today,” said Stephens. “I want to continue our legacy of being the place that filmmakers bring their LGBT films in order to reach the biggest possible audience.”

“Jim will be a great partner in running the company,” said Lynn. “His thought leadership and business acumen will be a welcome addition to Wolfe as we get ready to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2015.”

Screen Daily