ThinkFilm chair David Bergstein has tapped theatrical topper Mark Urman to take over as prexy in the wake of Think co-founder and prexy Jeff Sackman’s abrupt departure last week.
Company HQ will now reside in Urman’s home base of Gotham.
Urman and Sackman transitioned together from Lionsgate to found Think with a small coterie in 2001, maintaining dual headquarters in Gotham and Toronto. When David Bergstein and Ron Tutor’s Capco bought Think in 2006, they made it a division of Capitol Films and opened a branch in Hollywood. Ever since, there’s been a gradual but steady shift from operations in Toronto to the two U.S.-based offices, capped by Sackman’s exit and the closure of the Canadian site.
The Canadian outpost had been hobbled by Canada’s regulations governing foreign ownership once the company was American-owned. ThinkFilm made an exclusive output deal with Canuck distrib Entertainment One and affiliate Seville Pictures that included an impressive library.
Still, Urman has been the company’s public face since the beginning and is generally viewed as the shingle’s spokesman.
“Mark has played a crucial role in establishing Think as a brand that is known and respected around the world,” Bergstein said. “His strengthened role in the company guarantees that Think will retain its unique identity even as we take the company in new directions.”
With Capco providing a substantially bigger bank, ThinkFilm’s new direction will likely be evident in the form of heftier acquisition sums, enhanced marketing coin and more deals with international distributors.
Urman said recent staff additions and changes had been brewing for some time. In the past few months, its Gotham publicity and marketing team doubled, and there are plans to hire business affairs and delivery staff, positions shifted from Canada.
“We’ve beefed up in New York,” Urman said. “We’ve expanded our staff because the films are more demanding and have more potential and have higher stakes. We’ve already crossed new thresholds on P&A with recent films and made some new acquisitions that are bigger, like ‘The Escapist,’ which involve more money coming or going.”
ThinkFilm’s slate includes tyro helmer Helen Hunt’s “Then She Found Me,” opening today; Ellen Page starrer “The Tracey Fragments”; and Tim Robbins starrer “Noise,” bowing May 9.
Before joining Think, Urman was co-prexy of Lionsgate Films Releasing.
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