MetFilm is expanding into distribution with the acquisition of U.K. distribution company Republic Film Distribution (“Brittany Runs a Marathon”).
Republic, which is run by former Icon Films exec Zak Brilliant, will be re-branded as MetFilm Distribution. Brilliant will take on the role of head of MetFilm distribution and MetFilm sales, working with the existing sales team, comprised of Mitch Clare, Jenny Bohnhoff and Ella Pham. The company is already planning to increase its headcount.
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MetFilm Distribution will aim to release six to eight titles annually. The films they take on will have a strong theatrical focus, starting with November’s “A Bunch of Amateurs” by Kim Hopkins, which won the Sheffield DocFest audience award.
Upcoming releases on the slate include Lena Dunham’s “Catherine, Called Birdy” in partnership with Amazon Studios.
MetFilm Sales will be more concentrated on documentaries, including the upcoming “Body Parts,” which stars Jane Fonda and Rosanna Arquette and examines how women have been exploited in Hollywood.
The move into distribution is the latest expansion for MetFilm, which recently moved into television as well as expanded its MetFilm School.
“We’re really delighted to be working with Zak,” said head of MetFilm Production Stew le Maréchal. “He brings a wealth of experience and was the perfect person to help us expand the organisation. This move diversifies our portfolio and enables us to react more nimbly to the ever-changing market place.”
Brilliant said: “I am thrilled to be joining Jonny, Stew and all the team at Met to lead on this exciting expansion of their U.K. and international operations. Their commitment to great storytelling through production and sales perfectly aligns with my vision for a dynamic, collaborative and plucky U.K. distribution business that supports British film and the best of world cinema. MetFilm Sales has quickly established itself as a leader in the unscripted space, with fantastic titles like ‘The Reason I Jump’ and ‘Misha & the Wolves,’ something that I will look to build upon while also exploring synergies across the wider MetFilm Group.”
Director of MetFilm, Jonny Persey added: “We could not be more proud and excited to be launching MetFilm Distribution at this moment in time, and confident in the judgement and expertise that Zak brings to the business. Whilst adding strength, breadth and versatility to our production and distribution work, the development also creates opportunity for our students and graduates to learn from, and experience first-hand, each stage of a production’s life cycle. The announcement coincides with the launch of our new campus in Leeds so it is a busy time within the MetFilm Group.”
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