Furst, Kessel tapped as executive VPs

Overture Films has tapped independent film vets Sean Furst and Robert Kessel as exec VPs of productions and acquisitions and hired Bryan Furst as senior VP of productions and acquisitions.

Overture CEO Chris McGurk and chief operating officer Danny Rosett made the announcement Monday. The hires are the first for Overture since the shingle’s November unveiling, which called for an annual slate of eight to 12 productions and acquisitions in a variety of genres with budgets in the $30 million and under range.

The Fursts will be based at Los Angeles headquarters, and Kessel will be based at the company’s Gotham offices.

“These key hires will form the foundation of our creative team and strategy for Overture,” McGurk said. “We very specifically looked for individuals with significant experience and quality track records in the independent film community and who also have extensive production experience.”

The Fursts have been co-owners of Furst Films, which produced “The Matador” and “The Cooler,” and also have credits on “Owning Mahowny,” “The Girl in the Park,” “Everything Put Together” and “First Snow.” Furst Films’ television division has sold the series “Tough Trade” to HBO and has programs in development at the CWand Comedy Central.

Kessel has been a partner and head of production for Hart-Sharp Entertainment and produced “Proof,” “The Night Listener,” “A Home at the End of the World,” “Nicholas Nickelby” and the upcoming “Breakfast With Tiffany.” Prior to joining Hart-Sharp, Kessel spent five years as an acquisitions exec at Miramax.

Overture’s a division of John Malone’s Starz and is targeting the second half of this year for its first theatrical release.

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