Universum chief steps down

Reichert-Facilides joined German distrib in 1998

BERLIN — Tania Reichert-Facilides is stepping down as managing director of RTL-owned theatrical distrib Universum Film.

Dirk Schweitzer, RTL Television’s exec VP for sales and acquisitions, will temporarily head the distrib following Reichert-Facilides’ exit on Jan. 15.

Reichert-Facilides, who has served as managing director of the distrib — originally known as BMG Video — since 1998, said she was ankling in order to pursue new professional challenges.

Under her watch, Universum grew from a home entertainment distrib into a theatrical player whose box office hits included the 2007 blockbuster documentary “Earth” and the Oscar-winning “The Counterfeiters,” as well as hit actioners “Crank,” “Transporter 2” and “Transporter 3.”

Universum, which also has co-produced popular animated films like “Princess Lillifee” and “The Flight Before Christmas,” enjoyed the most successful year in its 30-year-history in 2009, achieving revenue of E105 million ($151 million).

RTL took over BMG Video a decade ago and since 2001 has been part of RTL Deutschland.

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