One of the top dealmakers in the world of independent film, Sloss is a lawyer and the president of Cinetic Media.
Detroit native Sloss earned his law degree in the early '80s from the University of Michigan (where he moonlighted as a film projectionist), before joining the white shoe firm Morrison & Foerster. In 1993, he went out on his own and founded Sloss Law, taking on clients like Christine Vachon, Ted Hope, Todd Haynes, and Richard Linklater, and brokering deals to put together movies like Before Sunrise and Ed Burns' She's the One. Having established himself as one of the top dealmakers in the world of indie film, in 2001 he founded Cinetic Media, an agency dedicated to discovering small pics, arranging financing for them, and selling them to the indie specialty arms of large studios, often at Sundance and other big film festivals. Through Cinetic, Sloss has orchestrated the sales of some of the biggest indie successes of the '00s, including The Fog of War, Super Size Me, Napoleon Dynamite, Andrew Jarecki's Capturing the Friedmans, and Little Miss Sunshine. He also keeps a hand in production with his stake in Independent Digital Entertainment (or InDiGent), which he founded in 1999 with partner Gary Winick, and which is now the digital production arm of the Independent Film Channel. InDiGent has produced films like Tadpole (which Winick directed), Chelsea Walls (directed by Ethan Hawke), Personal Velocity, and Puccini for Beginners.
Sloss is one of most powerful players on the indie film circuit; a ruthless negotiator, he's one of the most controversial, too. Thanks to his ability to drive up prices, "getting Slossed" is how many industry folk now refer to the increasingly common phenomenon of big studios paying painfully large sums to acquire small indie films. (Example A: Pieces of April—starring Katie Holmes—which Sloss managed to unload to United Artists for over $4 million at Sundance in 2003, but which proved to be box office poison.) Of course, his aggressive tactics have hardly dismayed the directors and producers he has repped (and for whom he's negotiated mammoth deals). And despite the fact that some of his colleagues consider his tactics occasionally heavy-handed, his influence over the indie biz endures. A longtime staple at Sundance, Sloss typically sells as many as 20 films at the fest each year, more than any other agency. His partners at Cinetic now include Robert Nathan and, as of 2007, Bart Walker, who was formerly Sofia Coppola and Julian Schnabel's agent at CAA.
In 2002, Sloss married Kathryn Tucker, a fellow film producer who put together 2003's The Station Agent with Peter Dinklage. The marriage produced two children, Loulou and Henry, but Sloss and Tucker split in 2007. It remains to be seen who will get to keep the 25-foot-wide Chelsea townhouse they bought for $5.1 million in 2004. Sloss also owns a vacation home in Columbia County, NY.
Sloss was part of a performance art piece staged at the Whitney in 1988 called "Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore," wherein he and three fellow lawyers expressed their feelings on their legal careers via interpretive dance.