Label to be backed by Optimum Releasing

LONDON — Peter Carlton is ankling his post as senior commissioning editor at Film 4 to head up Warp Euro, an ambitious, new label launched by British shingle Warp Films with backing from distributor Optimum Releasing.

Move is part of an overall first-look deal between Warp, Optimum and Film 4 and cements the informal relationship between the three companies dating back to helmer Shane Meadows’ “Dead Man’s Shoes,” which was produced by Warp Films, distributed by Optimum and also received support from Carlton and Film 4.

Warp Euro will aim to make bigger-budget projects with higher-profile directors than Warp has traditionally produced. The label joins low-budget studio Warp X and off-shoot Warp Australia under the wider Warp umbrella.

Carlton had been at Film 4 for six years. It is unclear at this stage if his position will be replaced at Channel 4′s film arm, which has been facing uncertainty over its future of late due to the financial worries of its parent company.

“Peter was the first person to commit to our first feature ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ and since then we have worked closely together on some great films,” said Warp Films managing director Mark Herbert. “His taste and vision fit the Warp brand and with Optimum and Film 4 still as partners we hope to continue this productive working relationship.”

The launching of Warp Euro is another sign of Optimum’s intentions to become a major player in film production. The distributor, which is owned by StudioCanal, is in production on its first feature with helmer Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic novel “Brighton Rock.” Pic stars Sam Riley and Carey Mulligan.

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