Oz pic peddler leaving Beyond

Hamilton wants to be directly involved in development

SYDNEY — Gary Hamilton, the longest-serving seller of Australian films to overseas markets, will step down from Beyond Films March 27.

Hamilton founded Beyond’s film division in 1990 after repping the Australian Film Commission in Europe. He reckons he’s sold 160 Beyond films — the vast majority of them homegrown — but an increasing number have been Euro and U.S. indie pics in the past few years as the company broadened its repertoire.

“It’s time after 12 years to look at doing something else,” the Beyond general manager told Daily Variety today in Oz. “I want to see what (opportunities) are out there. I do want to get more directly involved in developing projects.” Beyond has not yet nominated a successor.

“Over the 12 years Gary has been with Beyond, he has made a major contribution to the success of the company,” said Beyond managing director Mikael Borglund. Among Hamilton’s recent successes have been deals for “Lantana,” “Chopper” and “Two Hands.” He’s been instrumental in helping launch the international careers of Baz Luhrmann (having repped “Strictly Ballroom”), Russell Crowe (“The Crossing”), Gregor Jordan (“Two Hands”), Heath Ledger (“Black Rock,” “Two Hands”) and Hugh Jackman (“Paperback Hero”).

Hamilton’s exit is not related to the just-completed merger of Beyond’s film sales and TV distribution arms, which now form Beyond Intl. Sales.

Borglund will continue to have responsibility for sales and acquisitions with head of TV sales Ellen Lovejoy and the incoming head of film sales reporting to him.

As part of the restructure, Rebecca Munro has been appointed Beyond Intl. marketing manager, responsible for corporate branding, PR and marketing, working with John Thornhill, Beyond Films’ marketing manager. Sales and marketing exec Stephen Kelliher will report to Borglund until the head of film sales is announced.

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