Earlier this month, eOne acquired Phase 4 Films, setting that company’s Berry Meyerowitz to run the combined U.S. film and distribution business. That appointment followed the departure of eOne North American Films president David Reckziegel in May. Under Meyerowitz as president, eOne has now outlined its management roster with SVP Theatrical Marketing & Distribution Dylan Wiley exiting the company along with Patrick McDonough, Ryan Markowitz, Seanna Hore, Sejin Croninger and Walter Schmidt. Moving in to run the revamped film and distribution business under Meyerowitz are Phase 4′s Sean Monson as EVP Finance & Operations and David Richardson EVP Sales & Marketing. Also in the ranks are Ian Goggins, SVP On Demand/Digital; Larry Greenberg, SVP Acquisitions; Ben Means, SVP Label Management; and Polly Beel, VP Marketing.
EXCLUSIVE: Entertainment One has brought in veteran TV development and production Gerard Bocaccio as SVP US Scripted Development. Based in Los Angeles, he will shepherd scripted development for the company, reporting to Michael Rosenberg, EVP US Scripted Television. “Gerard is a seasoned executive with a breadth of experience that spans all aspects of the development and production process necessary to create groundbreaking television,” said Rosenberg. Bocaccio, who brings in more than 25 years of experience, most recently consulted for Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods., helping build the company’s scripted and unscripted TV slate that yielded three series orders – Stranded, Eye Candy and South Of Hell – and for Discovery Channel, playing a key role in launching Discovery’s first scripted series Klondike, which eOne co-produced. Prior to launching his consulting business in 2009, Bocaccio served as president of television at Silver Pictures, SVP Entertainment at FX and EVP Production at The Bubble Factory.
Entertainment One Films has picked up North American rights to fashion documentary Dior And I. The distributor, which acquired the film in a deal with Submarine, is planning a theatrical release later this year. Frédéric Tcheng’s movie is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first Haute Couture collection as the new Artistic Director of the House of Christian Dior. Simons took over the job in April 2012 ending a period of transition after the firing of John Galliano. The film premiered to strong reviews at Tribeca. Guillaume de Roquemaurel and Tcheng are producers. Tcheng last directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel.
Entertainment One North American Flms President David Reckziegel is leaving the company. The exec is departing to launch a new venture that will provide financing and advisory services to media and entertainment companies. Reckziegel started in the film distribution business in 1999 when he co-founded indie Les Film Séville with partner John Hamilton. In 2007, it was acquired by eOne. Reckziegel later became eOne Films Canada co-president and in 2011 took his current post overseeing Canadian and U.S. film distribution. Patrice Théroux, who leads eOne’s global film business, said Les Films Séville was “the foundation of eOne’s entire Canadian film business… David built a remarkable team and led our North American film business through a transformative period which brought significant change to our U.S. film activities. He also led the integration of Alliance and several other distribution entities with Séville to form eOne’s current Canadian distribution business. We thank him for his leadership, dedication and passion throughout the years.” Reckziegel, who also has an M&A and investment background, added, “This is a bittersweet time for me personally. I’m excited to launch a new venture that combines what I’ve learned over the past 25 plus years in the entertainment and investment banking businesses. I am extremely proud to have been part of eOne’s dramatic growth since 2007 and of what my teams and I have accomplished together, but I …
Previously announced for a start this year, Séville International has set an official launch date of April 1, just in time for Cannes. The indie sales division of Entertainment One Films International is led by Montréal-based Vice President of International Sales Anick Poirier, with Natalie Kampelmacher promoted to Director of Sales. Séville will focus on art-house titles from Québec and put an emphasis on a greater number of new films from around the world. The slate will include pedigree titles with awards potential to follow in the footsteps of such films as Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom and the upcoming Mommy from Xavier Dolan. Taking advantage of eOne’s network in Canada, Spain, the UK, Benelux and Australia/New Zealand, Poirier and her team will source homegrown films for local distribution and world rights. While Séville will work with art-house fare, London-based eOne Films International is shifting to more commercial titles for direct distribution and world sales. Poirier, who joined eOne when it acquired Les Films Séville in 2008, reports to eOne Films International President Harold van Lier who joined the company in January armed with a $100M acquisitions fund.
Syfy has greenlit 26 new episodes of drama Haven, the channel said today. The first 13 episodes of Season 5 are set to premiere this fall with the remaining 13 episodes scheduled to air in 2015. Haven’s recently wrapped fourth season was up 11% among Adults 18-34 (314,000) and up 3% year-to-year among Adults 18-49 (926,000). Overall, Haven averaged 1.1 million Adults 25-54 and 2.3 million viewers per week and ranked second in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 among original cable series in its Friday 10 PM time slot, Syfy said. Series stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour will reprise their roles in Season 5. Production is set to begin in Halifax, Nova Scotia this spring. Haven is produced by Entertainment One and Big Motion Pictures in association with Piller/Segan/Shepherd and airs on Syfy in the U.S., Showcase in Canada and internationally on UNI’s multiple Syfy channels.
Under the pact, Entertainment One will handle El Rey Network‘s slate of original scripted programming worldwide. The deal was announced today by John Morayniss, CEO, eOne Television, and Scott Sassa, Vice Chair, El Rey Network. The first project under the pact is El Rey’s upcoming series Matador, a scripted thriller from K/O Paper Products’ Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. EOne will also handle DVD and EST rights in the U.S. and Canada for El Rey’s new supernatural crime saga From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, set to premiere March 11. This deal comes on the heels of eOne’s partnership with AMC Networks to exclusively distribute AMC and Sundance Channel’s original scripted series internationally announced in September.
Entertainment One and Atmosphere Entertainment will develop and produce the one-hour drama series King David. Penned by Patrick Moss and Jeremy Anderson, King David is described as a “mafia show in biblical clothing” which focuses on the contradictory character of the legendary warrior-king and patriarch – a man who must make monstrous choices that betray his personal ideals and turn his family against him. King David will be executive produced by eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg, and Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton. Atmosphere’s David Hopwood and Matthew Einstein will serve as co-executive producers. eOne will handle worldwide distribution.
Pam Grier is set to star in an action drama for Entertainment One. Written by Bennie Richburg, the project follows an ex-Homeland Security agent (Grier) who is pulled out of retirement to lead a young but highly qualified team of “shoot first, ask questions later” agents. They are on a trail of homegrown domestic terrorists who have set about to bring anarchy to the heartland of the United States and have to stop them before it is too late. Richburg and Grier recently collaborated on the adaptation of Grier’s memoir Foxy: My Life In Three Acts, which Richburg wrote. Grier is repped by TalentWorks; Richburg is repped by attorney Hillary Jones, who will also serve as a producer on the show. eOne’s Michael Rosenberg and Harrison Reishman oversee the project for the studio.
The cancer-science drama boasts a heavyweight cast led by Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt. Entertainment One Films has set Decoding Annie Parker for a summer day-and-date release in theaters and VOD. Veteran cinematographer Steven Bernstein is making his featuring directing debut on the film, which is based loosely on the life of Annie Parker (Morton), a cancer survivor who must deal with the deaths of her father and sister, a cheating husband (Aaron Paul) and her own mortality, and the career of geneticist Mary-Claire King (Hunt), who discovers a gene mutation that revolutionizes understanding and treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Richard Schiff, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Marley Shelton, Chris Mulkey and Corey Stoll also star in the film, which Bernstein co-wrote with Adam Bernstein and Michael Moss. Steven Bernstein also produced Annie Parker with Keith Kjarval, Clark Peterson and Stuart W. Ross.
AFM Briefs: Roger Daltrey’s Keith Moon Biopic Leads Multi-Pic Pact; Sam Worthington Sets 3D ‘Paper Planes’; eOne Takes ‘The Hunted’ & Zom-Com ‘April Apocalypse’; Alvernia & Fu Works Productions Team On Poland Incentives
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Exclusive Media and Da Vinci Media Ventures are making the untitled Keith Moon biopic the first joint development title in a newly announced multi-picture agreement. The Who’s Roger Daltrey, who’s been developing the project with Exclusive Media‘s Nigel Sinclair, is guiding the pic with Da Vinci’s Wendy Rutland also exec producing. They’re seeking a screenwriter for the film about legendary Who drummer Moon, who died in 1978. The biopic is expected to be a European co-production.
Sam Worthington, Anthony LaPaglia, and Ed Oxenbould (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) have been set to star in Arclight Films’ 3D family pic Paper Planes. The inspired-by-true-events tale follows 11-year-old Dylan (Oxenbould), who lives with his father (Worthington) in the Australian countryside. His life is changed forever when he wins his way up to the World Paper Plane Championship in Japan. Filming is underway in Perth, Western Australia, and Tokyo under writer-director Robert Connolly (Underground: The Julian Assange Story). Author Steve Worland scripted with Connolly. Arenamedia’s Liz Kearney and Maggie Miles are producing with Screen Australia, ScreenWest, the ACTF and MIFF. Eric Bana, Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Jonathan Chissick, Andrew Myer, and Bernadette O’Mahony are exec producers. Arclight Films is handling international sales.
Entertainment One Films US has acquired N.A. rights on a pair of indie horror pics. The Hunted, from director/star Josh Stewart, follows two hunters who head into the secluded mountains of West Virginia with dreams of landing their own hunting show, only to realize they’re not alone. Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizzotti produced for Fortress Features. It’s Stewart’s first outing as director after starring in pics like The Collector, The Collection, and the upcoming Transcendence. WME Global negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with eOne’s Dan Fisher; Cinema Management Group is repping international sales.
EOne also picked up zombie comedy April Apocalypse, about Artie (Reece Thompson), who wakes up from a car crash to find he’s in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse. With newfound courage and power he becomes a bad-ass zombie slayer to protect his dream girl April before the bite on his hand turns him into a full-fledged flesh-eater. Jarret Tarnol directs the pic from brother Brent Tarnol’s script; the pair (Barrio Tales, See You In Valhalla) produced together for their Tarnol Group Pictures. Bellflower‘s Rebekah Brandes, Brent Tarnol, Stephanie Hunt, Todd Stashwick, Mark Rolston, Sarah Hyland, Roger Bart, and George Lopez also star. Preferred Content’s Zac Bright negotiated the deal on behalf of the producers with eOne’s Dan Fisher. Arclight Films is handling international sales. Another zombie indie eOne acquired at the 2011 AFM for a number of territories, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Valeri Milev’s Code Red, is back at the Santa Monica market as a finished product, shopped in the rest of the world by Outsider Pictures.
The CW has teamed with Entertainment One for drama project The Cover, which has received a script-to-series order, meaning that it would forgo the pilot stage and go straight to series if the network brass like the script. I hear eOne also has had conversations with Netflix about a possible play on the streaming service for the potential series. Written by Matt Michnovetz, The Cover centers on a handsome young FBI agent who goes undercover in Boston with orders to infiltrate the Irish mob. Along the way, he develops a relationship with a local girl who has a secret of her own. Soon he doesn’t know who to trust as the investigation goes sideways. eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg are executive producing with Steven Marrs. This marks the first project to come out of former Momentum Entertainment Group topper Marrs’ newly launched independent company of Out East Entertainment. It reunites him with eOne after working together on DirecTV’s first original series Rogue. Script-to-series deals have been popular with players like eOne, whose business is built primarily to straight-to-series orders. Gaumont International TV has done a couple, one of which resulted in NBC series Hannibal. eOne’s current series also include Syfy’s Haven and ABC’s Rookie Blue. Michnovetz is …
Gabrielle, the Louise Archambault-directed relationship drama that is Canada’s entry into this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, will be released this winter by Entertainment One, which has acquired U.S. distribution rights. EOne is banking on strong past showings of Canadian films at the Oscars to help drive awareness: Gabrielle is the third film from Montréal-based production company micro_scope to be put up for Academy Award consideration following 2011′s Monsieur Lazhar and 2010′s Incendies — and both landed eventual nominations. (Last year’s Canadian entry, War Witch, produced by Item 7, was also a nominee.) Gabrielle is the story of a musically talented woman (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) suffering from Williams syndrome. When she falls in love with a fellow choir member, she seeks valiantly to prove her independence. EOne Films International already has sold distribution rights to other key territories, and the film was released in France yesterday. The U.S. deal was negotiated for eOne International by EVP Charlotte Mickie and for eOne Films U.S. by VP Worldwide Acquisitions Sejin Croninger.
Entertainment One‘s joint venture with indie producer Armyan Bernstein’s Beacon Pictures will look to develop up to 12 new TV projects annually across all genres, with a focus on one-hour drama series, half-hour comedies and miniseries. As part of the tie-up, eOne and Beacon will jointly pitch and sell projects domestically, while eOne will handle international sales, where it already has biggies on its menu including AMC’s The Walking Dead. Beacon has made its name on the film side with credits including The Commitments, Air Force One, Hurricane, Children Of Men, Open Range, Thirteen Days and Bring It On. Its TV-side efforts include Bernstein producing ABC’s Castle alongside ABC Studios, and it is currently casting Agent X for TNT, with plans to shoot a pilot before year’s end. “Beacon has been in discussions with several international media companies about creating a new media company that specializes in creating high-quality television shows with a worldwide appeal”, Bernstein said in announcing the joint venture. “eOne and its brilliant management team proved to be an irresistible combination because they are a group of terrific people who are really smart, and they have the kind of resources you need to build a successful company in this ever-changing marketplace”. In addition to its overseas distribution business, eOne has been expanding its production efforts in the U.S. with credits including AMC’s Hell On …
Harold van Lier joined France’s Studiocanal in 2007 from Summit and was most recently EVP International Distribution. He now leaves the company to become President of eOne Films International, taking over the job in January. (Just ahead of van Lier’s announced departure, Studiocanal said it has promoted Anna Marsh to the role of Head of International Film Sales.) Part of van Lier’s purview will be to launch a new financing and investment model at eOne which also says it has new production financing arrangements with City National Bank and OneWest Bank. Here’s the full press release:
Dylan Wiley‘s promotion comes a day after eOne announced that eOne Films U.S. president Michael Rosenberg would be stepping down at the end of next month. Wiley, upped to SVP and General Manager of eOne Films U.S., will oversee U.S. film marketing activities in theatrical, digital and home entertainment; Rosenberg had responsibility for the home entertainment unit among other duties. Wiley will also extend his oversight of theatrical sales into managing the company’s TV and digital sales in the U.S. He will continue to report to David Reckziegel, President of eOne Films North America. “The global film business and windowing patterns have evolved and we recognize that it is more important than ever to take a holistic approach to marketing and distribution”, Reckziegel said in announcing the move. “This is most significant in the U.S. market where release patterns are constantly evolving.” Wiley joined eOne in August 2011 from previous stints at RKO Pictures and New Line, helping to launch the company’s U.S. theatrical distribution division that has focused on limited-release art house indies, foreign films and feature documentaries. It is beefing up its profile though with deals for the upcoming Princess Di biopic Diana starring Naomi Watts and David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars.
Michael Rosenberg joined Entertainment One in 2005 when the company acquired Koch Entertainment, where he served as president, and now he says he’s decided to leave the company to pursue other interests. The move is effective October 31. Based in eOne’s Port Washington, New York office, Rosenberg has been responsible for eOne’s U.S. Home Entertainment division under David Reckziegel, President, eOne Films North America, and held corresponding responsibilities with the group’s music distribution business under Michael Koch, CEO, eOne US. “After 26 years with Koch and eOne, it’s now time for me to take on other challenges. I am very proud of our team in the U.S. and the business we’ve built together, and I’ve really enjoyed my time as part of eOne. It’s been a pleasure to have been part of such a talented group during what has been a transformational period for film and music distribution in the U.S. I leave the company in good hands and look forward to opening a new chapter in my life,” said Rosenberg in a statement. Dylan Wiley continues to lead the company’s U.S. theatrical film marketing and sales activities, reporting to Reckziegel who oversees all North American Film operations. The company plans to announce further updates to its U.S. leadership structure in the coming weeks. (Note: Michael Rosenberg, EVP U.S. Scripted Television, remains at eOne in LA.)
Syfy has acquired the 13-episode first season of new Canadian scripted series Bitten from Entertainment One. It’s set to premiere in 2014. Based on Kelly Armstrong’s Women Of The Otherworld novels, Bitten stars Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. Desperate to escape both a world she never wanted to be part of and the man who turned her into a werewolf, Elena (Vandervoort) has abandoned her Pack and taken refuge in a new city. She returns to Stonehaven, the werewolves’ ancestral domain, when bodies start turning up in her Pack’s backyard and she realizes she’ll stop at nothing to defend her Pack. Greg Bryk, Greyston Holt and Paul Greene also star. Bitten is produced by No Equal Entertainment, Hoodwink Entertainment, and eOne in association with Space and Bell Media. This is similar to Syfy’s acquisition of Haven, which eOne also produces. Bitten executive producers include J.B. Sugar for No Equal Entertainment, Patrick Banister and John Barbisan for Hoodwink Entertainment and Tecca Crosby, John Morayniss, and Margaret O’Brien for eOne. Daegan Fryklind and Grant Rosenberg are exec producers and co-showrunners.
Fans of the Syfy supernatural drama won’t have to wait until Haven returns for a fourth season on September 13 to learn what happened right after the explosive Season 3 finale. The Season 3 DVD set of the series will include an exclusive Haven: After The Storm mini-graphic novel. With 100,000 copies printed, the 16-page comic details the immediate aftershock of the meteor-falling season ender on the mysterious town of Haven, Maine. Among other things, that finale saw FBI agent-turned-local cop Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) and the Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour) character disappear into a vanishing barn. The DVD set comes out on September 3, and the graphic novel won’t be available anywhere else. The “Thanks For The Memories” episode of the eOne- and Big Motion Pictures-produced series, based on Stephen King’s 2005 novella The Colorado Kid, aired on January 17. The upcoming Season 4 of Haven actually picks up six months after the events of Season 3 finale, so the graphic novel partially bridges the gap between cycles.