×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ivernel Leaves Pathe to Launch U.K. Production Company

Exec to set up London-based shingle Montebello Prods.

Senior Pathe exec Francois Ivernel has quit the European mini-major to start up London-based production company Montebello Prods.

Most recently, Ivernel had been serving as chairman of the board and managing director of Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathe, deputy managing director of Pathe, a member of its exec board and prexy of Pathe U.K.

At Montebello, Ivernel will produce “smart, reasonably budgeted, mostly English-speaking films with a great story that can reach a worldwide audience,” he told Variety.

Most of Montebello’s movies will be budgeted under $30 million, Ivernel added, so not necessarily dependent on a U.S. distribution deal to go into production. Ivernel said he will produce his films “one at a time.”

He pointed to films he executive produced at Pathe — “The Queen,” “Bright Star,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” and “The Iron Lady” — as “exactly the type of films I’d like to produce.”

Ivernel will “over the next few weeks explore the possibility of a housekeeping or first-look deals, or decide to keep Montebello purely independent.”

Popular on Variety

At Pathe, Ivernel took an executive producer credit on other films such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” among others, titles which earned a total of 37 Oscars nominations, 12 Oscars and a Cannes Festival Palme d’Or.

Most recently, Ivernel exec produced Stephen Frears’ sales hit “Philomena,” whose U.S. pick-up by The Weinstein Co. was one of the biz highlights of Cannes.

Ivernel’s departure deprives Pathe and its co-president Jerome Seydoux of one of its most faithful, discreet and hardworking of servants, who joined  Seydoux’s Chargeurs in 1986.

Ivernel’s role at Pathe has grown ever larger as he accepted increasing corporate responsibilities after Chargeurs bought Pathe in 1990.

Appointed in 2011 as managing director of the Pathe-Gaumont joint exhibition loop in France, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathe, Ivernel had dedicated a great deal of energy recently to renovating France’s biggest cinema theater chain, launching a new brand premium cinema brand, Pathe Plus, in January.

As a top-ranking French-born film executive at Europe’s second-biggest film company by annual revenues — only Odeon-UCI Cinemas is larger — Ivernel has spent most of his working life as a film exec based out of London.

That now puts him and Montebello in an ideal situation to marshal U.K. and European film financing for projects. “But the film comes creatively first. It can’t be shoe-horned into a financing system,” Ivernel said.

With film production, he added, he will dedicate himself to his prime passion.

“I became quite passionate about renovating cinema theaters,” Ivernel confessed. “(But) I came to a point of my life when I wanted to decide what to do with the years ahead of me. What I really want to do is to make some good or great films which will remain with my name on them.”

Leo Barraclough contributed to this story.

More Film

  • Weathering With You

    Japan Box Office Leaps to $2.4 Billion Record in 2019

    The Japanese box office leaped by 17% in 2019 to set a record $2.4 billion score, according to figures announced Tuesday by the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, locally known as Eirin. The previous high was the $2.2 billion recorded in 2016. The Makoto Shinkai animation “Weathering with You” was the highest earning film [...]

  • Lionsgate Developing 'Memetic' Apocalyptic Horror Movie

    Film News Roundup: Lionsgate Developing 'Memetic' Apocalyptic Horror Movie

    In today’s film news roundup, Lionsgate is developing graphic novel “Memetic” as a feature, the latest Laura Ziskin Prize is announced and Firelight Media creates a fund for nonfiction filmmakers of color at the mid-career mark. PROJECT LAUNCHES Lionsgate is in final negotiations for motion picture rights to the apocalyptic horror graphic novel “Memetic” for [...]

  • Sylvie's Love Review

    'Sylvie's Love': Film Review

    Sultry music swells as the camera swoons over a young couple in a tender nighttime embrace. The 1950s residential New York City street is carefully rain-slicked and lined with shiny classic cars: an obvious stage set. Gene Kelly might just have swung on that lamppost; Doris Day might lean out of an upstairs window to sigh [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Irishman BTS

    Martin Scorsese's Body of Work Extends Far Beyond Male-Centric Mafia Movies

    Actors sometimes complain about being typecast, but it’s a fact of life for anyone in entertainment. John Ford is usually labeled a director of Westerns, despite “The Grapes of Wrath” and  “Mister Roberts.” David Lean is known for his epics, but he also directed “Brief Encounter” and “Summertime.” Vincente Minnelli? The director of musicals, overlooking [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Will Oscar Campaigning Turn to Mudslinging?

    On March 5, 1963, Army Archerd wrote in Variety: “There’s been a not-so-subtle campaign pyramiding since Oscar nominations that Omar Sharif is an ex-Egyptian soldier who fought in the Israeli War. Forget it: Omar sez: ‘I never fought in any army.’” Archerd also denied the rumor that Sharif was Muslim. Two big takeaways: 1. Mudslinging [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Why Blake Lively Isn't Trying to Be the 'Female James Bond' in 'The Rhythm Section'

    “The Rhythm Section,” Reed Morano’s new espionage thriller about a female assassin who sets out to avenge her family’s untimely death, is not a female-led approximation of a “James Bond” film. Though Barbara Broccoli, the magnate producer whose family has been solely responsible for the franchise, is producing the movie, “The Rhythm Section” is decidedly not [...]

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez. Kristen Anderson-Lopez,

    Kristen Anderson-Lopez Talks Responsibility, Representation in 'Frozen 2' and the Biz

    Gender parity isn’t an issue in Oscar-winning songwriting-composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s house, what with her longstanding collaboration with husband Bobby Lopez, but at the Oscars luncheon on Monday, it was a different story. “There were 13 female directors represented in the shorts and documentary fields,” Anderson-Lopez notes, adding, “but how do we get from there to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content