Franchise taps Davis

Exec fills key int'l post

Franchise Pictures has tapped exec Chris Davis to become its new president of international distribution and marketing.

Davis moves to Franchise from Scanbox Intl., the Los Angeles-based international sales arm of Danish distributor Scanbox.

He will report to Franchise co-chairmen Elie Samaha and Ashok Amritraj.

Davis replaces Daniel Diamond, who exited his post at the nascent indie film company at the beginning of this month (Variety, Sept. 1).

In addition, Franchise has expanded its sales team by hiring sales vet Maura Hoy as vice president of sales and administration. Hoy, who has served with Lakeshore Entertainment and Overseas Filmgroup, will report to Davis.

The prolific Franchise, a film-making partnership of Amritraj, Samaha and prexy/chief operating officer Andrew Stevens, has produced pics such as “A Murder of Crows,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr., “The Confession,” starring Alec Baldwin, and “If … Dog … Rabbit,” directed by and starring Matthew Modine.

Among the forthcoming Franchise pics that Davis will be repping are “White River Kid,” starring Antonio Banderas, and “Boondock Saints,” starring Willem Dafoe.

Davis’ sales background includes stints at Lorimar and the U.K.’s Imperial Entertainment, which was folded into Scanbox in April.

Earlier this year, Franchise signed a $100 million credit facility with Imperial Entertainment Group, C.E. Heath and ICE Media in order to fund a slate of new pics.

The company has distrib/output relationships with many foreign buyers, including BSkyB (U.K.), Metropolitan Filmexport (France), Helkon Media (Germany), Gaga Communications (Japan), Cecchi Gori (Italy) and Scanbox (Scandinavia).

Fox Searchlight is releasing Franchise’s romantic comedy “20 Dates” in the U.S. in early 1999.

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