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Berenice Fugard Joins WestEnd as Acquisitions, Development Chief

WestEnd's line-up includes 'Una,' starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn

LONDON — International sales and feature film financing company WestEnd Films has hired Berenice Fugard to spearhead the acquisitions and development department, starting in January.

Most recently senior VP of Fortissimo Films, Fugard started her career at Portobello Pictures. She spent nine years at Pathe Distribution in London, before leaving the company as its head of acquisitions in 2006. During her tenure, Fugard handled such films as “The Blair Witch Project,” the first film in the “Resident Evil” franchise, Paul Haggis’ “Crash,” Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and Zhang Yimou’s “House of Flying Daggers.”

Fugard then became VP, acquisitions and co-productions for Paramount Vantage. Following her move to Studiocanal two years later, Fugard led acquisitions for the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” the Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper fronted “The Place Beyond the Pines,” and Francois Ozon’s “Potiche,” among others.

“We need to reinvent ourselves in a challenging marketplace, and Berenice will be the driving force behind that change: her great taste, expertise and relationships will make WestEnd the ambitious player that finances and sells, but also develops and produces quality commercial projects,” said managing directors Eve Schoukroun and Maya Amsellem in a statement.

“WestEnd has inspiring ambitions for the future — I’m honored to join their dynamic team,” Fugard said.

WestEnd was co-founded by Schoukroun, Amsellem and Capitol Films founder Sharon Harel-Cohen. It offers filmmakers finance, production and sales expertise, as well as an extensive network of contacts from across the industry.

Its line-up includes “Una,” starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, “Shepherds and Butchers,” starring Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough, “Dancer,” a documentary about ballet superstar Sergei Polunin by Steven Cantor, Kieran Darcy-Smith’s “By Way of Helena,” starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth, “A Perfect Day” by Fernando Leon de Aranoa, starring Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins, and “Green Room” by Jeremy Saulnier.

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