LONDON — U.K. film financier and sales agent Civilian Content, which owns the Film Consortium and the Works, has launched Works U.K. Distribution.
Distrib, which has scooped four employees from rival ContentFilm, plans to release eight pics in its first year, and up to 12 thereafter.
Debut pic is a remake of children’s classic “Heidi,” starring Emma Bolger, Diana Rigg and Max Von Sydow, to open Aug. 19.
Southworth tops unit
Distrib will be headed by industry stalwart Mick Southworth, with Laurence Gornall as director of marketing, David Shear as chief of sales and Lucy Fleet handling press.
All four worked at Winchester Entertainment and then Content, after the merger of the two companies. Their releases include “Lantana,” “The Man Who Sued God,” “Open Range,” and “My Summer of Love,” a pic financed by the Film Consortium and sold by the Works.
“The U.K. release of ‘My Summer of Love’ was extremely well handled,” said Chris Auty, managing director of Civilian Content, “and when Civilian decided to move into domestic distribution, there was a clear logic to working with this successful team.”
Southworth has extensive experience in U.K. specialty distribution. After starting as a cinema booker for ABC cinemas and Cannon, he moved into distribution at Oasis and Virgin Vision, then started the Feature Film Co. in 1991.
In 1995 he set up Film Four Distributors. He joined Winchester in 2001, setting up its distribution division. After the merger with Content, he served as CEO of U.K. distribution.
He will continue to work on a nonexclusive basis for Content and will supervise the release of its titles until December.
Gornall started at Working Title Films in 1991 and worked for Manifesto Film Sales, Polygram Film Entertainment and Oasis Cinemas between 1992 and 1995. In ’95, he joined the Feature Film Co., where he was managing director, and subsequently became marketing director at Winchester and then Content.
Shear was head of sales at the Feature Film Co. and later at Content.
Fleet was a sales and marketing exec at Winchester and then head of press at ContentFilm U.K. Distribution.