Prexy Diamond exits Franchise

Exec ankles amid 'creative differences'

Daniel Diamond, president of international distribution and marketing at Franchise Pictures, is exiting his post at the nascent indie company.

According to Franchise co-chairmen Elie Samaha and Ashok Amritraj, Diamond is leaving due to “creative differences.”

Neither the partners nor Diamond would give the precise reasons for the exec’s departure, although they are understood to have disagreed over the fundamental strategy of the company.

Opposite directions

“Danny wanted to go in one direction while we wanted to go in another,” Amritraj said.

All execs stressed the parting was completely amicable and that they would be happy to work together in the future.

“I’m proud of the company that we started,” Diamond said. “In less than nine months we have emerged as a major force in independent production and foreign distribution.”

Other interests

He would not reveal what his future plans were, but said that he would be “pursuing other interests.”

Franchise 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 Franchise pics in various stages of production are “White River Kid,” starring Antonio Banderas, and “Boondock Saints,” starring Willem Dafoe.

Diamond set up Franchise’s relationships with key foreign distribs and made a number of package deals for its pictures. He dealt with BSkyB (U.K.), Metropolitan (France), Helkon Media (Germany), Gaga (Japan), Cecchi Gori (Italy) and Scanbox (Scandinavia), among other buyers.

Prior to joining Franchise at the end of 1997, Diamond was vice president of sales and marketing at Capella Films.

His departure comes less than a month after Franchise closed a $100 million credit facility with Imperial Entertainment Group, C.E. Heath and ICE Media.

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

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