Carlton cuts ranks

U.K. distrib eliminates 20 jobs in revamping

CANNES — The newly renamed Carlton Film Distributors, formerly Rank Film Distributors, has arrived at Cannes in the midst of internal reorganization under its new ownership.

Last week, the company quietly cut 20 jobs from its staff roster, a third of its total. But that includes five people who are being transferred to CTE, Carlton’s TV distribution arm, which is taking over TV sales of the 750-title library, and four staff who are taking early retirement.

Changes for the better

CFD’s new managing director, George Helyer, the longtime No. 2 to former RFD boss Fred Turner, said, “There have been changes, but I think they are for the better, and there’s nothing that I’m uncomfortable with as managing director.”

He also declared his intention to be aggressive in acquiring new product at Cannes for U.K. theatrical distribution, and in talking to producers about picking up international rights to new projects.

“We have no intention to be passive,” he said. “We’re working every hour God sends screening movies and meeting sellers.”

Doing deals

Meanwhile, the company’s sales team, headed by Nicole Mackay, is pushing ahead with deals on the company’s current slate, headed by John Duigan’s “Lawn Dogs” and the musical “Up on the Roof.”

Separately, Carlton Communications, which paid $107 million for Rank Film Distributors, is now rumored to be considering a bid for Rank’s Pinewood Studios.

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