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Ritter joins Beta Cinema

Former Bavaria exec to focus on English-language films

BERLIN — Thorsten Ritter, former head of Bavaria Film Intl., has joined Beta Cinema as exec VP.

Ritter, whose responsibilities include worldwide acquisitions, sales and marketing, will help broaden the world sales company’s catalog, with an emphasis on English-language cinema.

Beta managing director Dirk Schuerhoff said Ritter brought “13 years of experience from all domains of world sales and has an excellent reputation in the industry. He was thus the perfect candidate for us in our plan to continue expanding the internationalization of our portfolio, especially in the acquisition of English-language films.”

At Bavaria Film Intl., Ritter had increasingly focused on English-language productions with films like Barnaby Southcombe’s Berlinale screener “I, Anna,” featuring Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne, and Sandra Nettelbeck’s “Mr. Morgan’s Last Love,” starring Michael Caine.

English-language cinema will remain a focal point of Ritter’s activity at Beta.

Ritter had been active in various capacities at Bavaria since 1999, and was instrumental in the success of such high-profile pics as Caroline Link’s Oscar-winning “Nowhere in Africa,” Wolfgang Becker’s “Good Bye, Lenin” and Tomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One In.”

Ritter exited Bavaria in January after the group and fellow programming giant Telepool merged their world sales divisions to form the recently launched company Global Screen, which replaced Bavaria Film Intl. The new group is expected to concentrate on more television-friendly programming. Both Bavaria and Telepool are majority owned by affiliates of pubcaster ARD.

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