Gaumont Taps Cecile Gaget To Head International Production (EXCLUSIVE)

Leveraging its ties with high-profile talent and producers in the U.S. and in Europe, French mini-major Gaumont has tapped its head of sales Cecile Gaget to spearhead international production for the company.

Gaget, who’s been shepherding worldwide sales at the company since 2010, will be in charge of producing or co-producing English- and local-language movies. She will report to CEO Sidonie Dumas and vice-CEO Christophe Riandée.

International projects on Gaumont’s slate include Armando Iannucci’s “Death of Stalin” and “Ballerina,” which are produced by Quad Films (“Intouchables”) and North American shingle Main Journey; and Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to “Neon Demon,” a revenge thriller set in Japan.

Gaumont is also co-developing “Montespan” (working title) with Alexandre Aja and LGM. Gaumont has “Neon Demon” competing at Cannes.

“This new step totally made sense as Gaumont expands its footprint within and outside of France with production of both French- and English-language films alongside Gaumont’s worldwide television production,” said Dumas.

Gaumont had pulled out of English-language productions after delivering string of pics, notably Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “T.S. Spivet,” which underperformed at the French B.O. But the company is in a different place today, having gained international recognition with its L.A.-based TV operation.

The 120-year company indeed successfully launched a Los Angeles-based TV banner, Gaumont Television, in 2012 and has produced various popular shows, including “Hannibal,” Eli Roth’s “Hemlock Grove” and José Padilha’s “Narcos.”

The appointment of Gaget to head the revamped division fits the company’s ongoing strategy to expand its footprint across the world.

Riandée and Gaget, for instance, recently negotiated the deal with Lionsgate to become a partner in GlobalGate, a banner that will produce and distribute local-language films in markets around the world.

The company is now looking to spark greater synergies between Gaumont TV in Los Angeles and Gaumont’s film studio in Paris, and package movie projects for the U.S. market.

Gaget is collaborating with “Now You See Me” helmer Louis Leterrier on a U.S. remake of Michel Blanc’s “Dead Tired” (Grosse Fatigue), which won Cannes’ screenplay award in 2007.

Gaumont, which boasts a library of 800-plus titles, will also be involved in co-producing and co-financing Gaumont remakes in foreign markets, notably Fred Cavaye’s “Point Blank” in China and Olivier Marchal’s “36th Precinct” in Korea; as well as scouting for foreign movies with strong French makeover potential. Gaumont, is for instance, in negotiations to buy French remake rights to Paolo Genovese’s B.O. hit “Perfect Strangers,” winner of this year’s Tribeca’s narrative feature award.

The idea is also for Gaumont to follow select producers and directors such as Quad Films or LGM as they step into English-language production.

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