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Gaumont Expands to Germany, Appoints Warner Bros. Executive (EXCLUSIVE)

Gaumont, the venerable film and TV studio behind French comedy blockbuster “The Intouchables” and hit Netflix series “Narcos,” is set to expand in Germany with the launch of a new office in Cologne.

Scheduled for a July 1 launch, the German division will be headed by Sabine de Mardt, who previously served as head of film and fiction at Warner Bros. Intl. TV Production Deutschland. She will report to Christophe Riandee, vice CEO of Gaumont.

“As we have done in the U.S., we are now establishing Gaumont in Germany to produce local content in the local language,” said Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas, who described de Mardt as a “well-respected development, production and creative executive with a highly successful track record.”

“With today’s audiences around the globe now used to watching shows in the original language, we also anticipate strong demand for these programs from our overseas broadcast partners,” Dumas said, referring most notably to the success of “Narcos” (pictured), whose fourth season is currently in production.

De Mardt said she was excited to be joining a “great and reputable company” like Gaumont, which bills itself as “the world’s oldest film company and which “still continues to operate as a family held venture.” “Gaumont is heralded for its countless successes, iconic film library and TV slate,” de Mardt said.

The new Cologne office will be dedicated to “investing heavily in the development and production of premiere drama programming, working together with first-class writers, directors, actors and creative executives,” de Mardt said.

De Mardt joined the Warner Bros. Intl. TV Production Deutschland team in 2014, following the acquisition of the Eyeworks Group, where she was working. During her career, De Mardt exec-produced or produced some of ZDF’s most successful crime dramas, including “Marie Brand,” the “Friesland” TV movies and “Wilsberg.” She also co-produced Amazon’s first German original, “You Are Wanted.”

Gaumont is rolling off a busy year. The studio currently has more than 40 drama series across multiple genres in development between its Los Angeles and Paris offices.

The company’s L.A.-based television division, whose launch was spearheaded by Riandee, has produced several global hits, such as the Golden Globe-nominated “Narcos” and “Hannibal.” The company recently signed a first-look TV deal with Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director and producer J.C. Chandor, as well as a first-look deal with Oscar-winning filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie.

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