Danny Perkins Exiting Studiocanal to Set Up Production Company

Danny Perkins, a high-profile figure in the British film business as head of Studiocanal’s U.K. operation, is leaving the Vivendi-owned company and striking out on his own.

He has been at producer and distributor Studiocanal since 2006 when it bought Optimum. He was named U.K. CEO in 2011. During his time at Studiocanal he has worked on the “Paddington” movies as well as Aardman’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie.” He exec produced titles including “Macbeth.”

“We announced today the departure of Danny Perkins, who will leave as CEO of Studiocanal U.K. at the end of September,” StudioCanal chairman Maxime Saada said in a memo to staff. “I would like to thank Danny for his remarkable contribution, originally as co-founder of Optimum Releasing and since 2010 as CEO of Studiocanal U.K. A 20-year adventure that saw a small independent distribution company grow and merge into Studiocanal to become a reference player in the U.K. market.”

“I am extremely proud of the wide-ranging slate I’ve carefully curated during my time at Studiocanal,” Perkins said. “Whilst this was a very difficult decision to make, I am leaving to pursue other exciting opportunities and leave the team in good hands with a strong pipeline of projects due to be released in the next year.”

Studiocanal said it will appoint a new U.K. chief executive soon. Saada added that while Perkins’ departure is a milestone for the U.K. business “our ambitions in the U.K. do not change.”

He said: “Great Britain is an essential territory for Studiocanal due to the economic weight of its market (theatrical, home entertainment, SVOD, etc.) and the very strong links we have developed locally with many world-class talents. It’s also in the UK that we’ve recorded some of our biggest critically-acclaimed successes both on TV, for example with ‘Happy Valley,’ and on the big screen with ‘Paddington 1 & 2.’”

Recent Studiocanal movies include “Paddington 2” and Idris Elba feature “Yardie.” Perkins will continue to work on some of his Studiocanal projects after leaving the company. Deadline was first to report the news he was leaving to set up a new production company.

In other Studiocanal news, the company has reorganized its German business. The cinema, home entertainment, and TV distribution departments have been combined. Hooman Afshari, previously VP, theatrical sales, will run the department as EVP, distribution. Physical and digital home entertainment have also been combined under Tobias Weigand who is upped to VP.

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