Former HanWay exec to head up sales team as Shoukroun-led company plans further growth
As the international market contracts ever more around a more limited number of high-profile hits, Westerhoff’s mission will be to head up WestEnd’s sales team, partnering WestEnd’s managing director Eve Shoukroun in the company’s ongoing drive into the acquisition, sales and marketing of premium commercial titles with widespread appeal.
This push will see WestEnd expand its sales slate, the company said in a statement Thursday.
That is a road WestEnd Films is already traveling down, with its best-selling titles this year taking in “The Invisible Woman,” with Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens, a sales hit at Berlin and Sony Pictures Classics pick-up for North America and multiple other territories, and David Gordon Green’s “Joe,” with a back-to-form Nicolas Cage as a short-fused ex-con who becomes a role-model for a young boy in need of paternal guidance.
A Paris-born graduate France’s Femis film school, Westerhoff will take up his new position at WestEnd from January. He can bring to the table an ample range of professional experience at prestigious sales companies in the U.K. and France, experience which takes in cinema’s digital and emerging market revolutions.
At HanWay Films, Jeremy Thomas’ sales, distribution and marketing company that he joined in 2008, becoming its director of sales and distribution Westerhoff’s legacy achievement was to spearhead the creation and enterprising growth of HanWay Select, a classics, speciality and documentary label, which created collections around its distinguished filmmaking figures – Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Thomas himself – firing up VOD sales around the world plus theatrical re-issues via Hollywood Classics.
Westerhoff cut his teeth at Philippe Bobber’s Coproduction Office and Pascal Diot’s Onama Intl. before serving as a consultant to Peter Danner’s Funny Balloons as it forged its sales relationship with “No” director Pablo Larrain, acquiring world sales on “Tony Manero.”
“Fabien has a great range of relationships, a wide knowledge of the business and is much respected by our community. He will lead our growing sales team as our activities expand and I’m thrilled to have him part of the adventure,” Shoukroun said.
Westerhoff added: “WestEnd has quickly established a solid brand for filmmaking excellence and commercial ambition, a destination for producers from all horizons on both sides of the pond. It is an exciting time in the company’s expansion and I am delighted to join such an illustrious team.”
WestEnd’s sales slate also features “Manglehorn,” with Al Pacino, also directed by David Gordon Green, plus, broadening its slate’s range, Yuval Adler’s sales success “Bethlehem,” a best film winner at this year’s Venice Days and Israel’s Academy Award submission; “The Face of an Angel,” starring Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”) and Kate Beckinsale (“Underworld,” “The Aviator”), directed by Michael Winterbottom; and “The Silent Storm,” toplining Andrea Riseborough (“Oblivion,” “Shadow Dancer”) and Damian Lewis (“Homeland”), produced by Barbara Broccoli.
In association with Bob Berney’s Picturehouse, WestEnd is also selling “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” helmed by Stephen Herek (“101 Dalmatians,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus”), starring Kathy Bates (“Titanic”) and Danny Glover (“The Color Purple”), and based on the novel by Katherine Paterson (“Bridge to Terabithia”).