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Aviron Pictures Taps Francois Martin as Media Strategy Executive VP (EXCLUSIVE)

Aviron Pictures is bolstering its executive roster with four new hires, Variety has learned.

As part of the move, Francois Martin has been named executive VP of media strategy and content distribution. At the same time Jeff Elefterion is joining as executive VP of creative marketing, Louis Spoto is coming on board as executive VP of business affairs, and Julie Gasparich has been tapped as director of field and events.

Aviron formed in 2017 with backing from venture capital firm BlackRock. It’s run by David Dinerstein, the former president of Lake Shore Entertainment and co-founder of Paramount Classics. The studio scored a hit with “Kidnap,” a thriller with Halle Berry that made $30.7 million when it opened last summer, and had another success with “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” a horror film with Christina Hendricks.

“As we celebrate our first year in business and the success of our first three campaigns, which cumulatively grossed $100 million in domestic box office, we’re excited to be deepening our bench with these fantastic industry vets,” Dinerstein said in a statement. “All are experts in their respective areas and collaborative team players.”

Martin will handle partnerships for releases across all platforms, along with managing TV sales for the company’s film slate. Prior to joining Aviron, Martin was at the Weinstein Company, where he worked on campaigns for “Kill Bill,” “Chicago,” “Django Unchained,” Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Inglorious Basterds.”

In his new role, Elefterion will execute domestic theatrical and home entertainment marketing campaigns. He previously oversaw domestic marketing at New Regency following gigs at Miramax and the Weinstein Company. There, he oversaw campaigns for “Birdman,” “The Revenant,” and “Gone Girl.”

Spoto, who comes to Aviron from law firm Loeb & Loeb, will spearhead business and legal affairs for the company, relating to acquisition, marketing, and distribution of films.

Meanwhile, Gasparich will lead regional publicity and promotions, as well as managing premieres and events. During her 10-year tenure at Warner Bros. Pictures, she worked on titles including “Gravity,” “Argo,” and the “Harry Potter” franchise.

Aviron’s upcoming releases include “Serenity,” a mystery thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway; “A Private War” with Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, and Stanley Tucci; and “Three Seconds” featuring Joel Kinnaman, Pike, Clive Owen, and Common.

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