Manne, Tait form Duopoly for prod'n, marketing

Liz Manne and Catherine Tait have formed Duopoly, a production and marketing strategy company to be based in Gotham.

Shingle will work creatively and financially with content creators.

Manne and Tait have been senior entertainment executives for more than 15 years, with combined professional experience including finance, production, marketing and management.

Manne is former executive veep of programming and marketing for Sundance Channel, where she re-branded the channel, introducing original fare and a wide variety of festival-style programs.

Public ambition

Tait was prexy-chief operating officer of Salter Street Films, a television production and distribution shingle that she took public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1997.

“The work we will do could be for individual projects,” Tait explained, “or working for a more established company looking to expand their business.”

Added Manne, “It’s our hope that our complementary expertise, and our business and creative relationships, will allow us to build value for Duopoly’s producers and clients.”

Duopoly will executive produce a select slate of entertainment properties each year, while providing strategic services to production companies and other entertainment shingles.

Duopoly also will provide business and strategic development services; production financing for Canada-U.S. co-ventures; and consultation on film festival, marketing and distribution strategies.

‘Beach’ property

Current projects include “Chilly Beach,” a 26-episode Flash animation teen comedy series for Canadian public broadcaster CBC, and a new Imax docu by director George Butler (“The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition”). Duopoly also is helping Cowboy Pictures and Topsail Entertainment with their business development strategies.

Manne co-founded Fine Line Features with Ira Deutchman and was the company’s executive veep of marketing. During her tenure, she created marketing campaigns for more than 70 feature films, including Oscar winner “Shine” and Steve James’ critically acclaimed doc “Hoop Dreams.”

Tait was responsible for Salter Street’s successful bid for digital broadcasting licenses, including Independent Film Channel Canada. She oversaw the sale of the company to Alliance Atlantis Communications in 2000. Previously, she was exec director of the Independent Feature Project/New York.

A former diplomat, Tait worked in policy and planning for Telefilm Canada and served as Canadian cultural attache to France. She is on the board of directors of Aliant, a Canuck telecom with annual revenues of $2 billion-plus, and a director of Triptych Media, a feature production company

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