Burgeoning U.K. producer Mad as Birds has brought on Con Gornell as a long-term consultant to support its growing slate of movies, including “The Vanishing” and others, several of which are being sold at AFM with this week.
The first project that former Warner Bros. EMEA marketing exec VP Gornell will work on is “The Vanishing” (formerly known as ‘”Keepers”). The psychological thriller is the debut feature of Danish director Kristoffer Nyholm and stars Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan and newcomer Connor Swindells.
It had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival. Based on an unsolved mystery about the disappearance of lighthouse keepers off the coast of Scotland, it is being released by Saban in the U.S., Lionsgate in the U.K. and Sandrew Metronome in Denmark.
Gornell started at Warner Bros. in 1997 and left earlier this year. The Mad as Birds assignment is his first foray into the independent film business. “I was hugely impressed by the outstanding quality of Mad as Birds’ development slate as well as the tremendous quality of the films already completed,” he said. “’The Vanishing’ is an outstanding movie and one that I am delighted to have the privilege working on over the coming months.”
Mad as Birds principals Andy Evans, Ade Shannon, Sean Marley and Celyn Jones issued a statement: “We are thrilled that the Mad as Birds slate will have the opportunity to benefit from Con’s vast international marketing expertise.”
The company’s projects at AFM include comedy “Poms,” starring Diane Keaton and Jackie Weaver that is in post-production, and period thriller “Six Minutes to Midnight,” which shot this summer and stars Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Jim Broadbent. Sierra/Affinity and Lionsgate, respectively, have already boarded sales.