Former Kew Media Distribution sales boss Jonathan Ford has launched new distribution company Abacus Media Rights (AMR) in partnership with Amcomri Media Group.
Amcomri, whose other entertainment investments include 101 Films, 101 International and Hollywood Classics, has provided Abacus Media Rights with a funding line to support rights acquisitions.
Ford left KMD, the profitable British sales arm of collapsed Canadian TV group Kew Media, in February after 13 years with the company. KMD was later placed into administration and its staff made redundant.
AMR will initially focus on distributing documentary features and series, non-scripted and drama series.
The fledgling business has already acquired the rights to a slate of shows to represent on the international market, including CBC drama series “Trickster” and “Leaving Neverland” director and producer Dan Reed’s new HBO and BBC antibiotics doc “Superbug,” as well as Reed’s upcoming “Liberty City” for Channel 4.
AMR’s slate also includes Essential Media series “Rhys Darby in Japan” and “This Could Go Anywhere.” Its documentary feature slate includes “People You May Know“ from Metrotone Media, ”Nike’s Big Bet” from producer Corey Russell and Paul Kemp Productions, which uncovers the truth behind the fall of athletics coach Alberto Salazar, “My Name is Bulger” from Fine Point Films in Belfast, and another documentary focusing on the use of informers at a U.S. college produced by “No Stone Unturned’s” Trevor Birney.
AMR has also recruited several of Ford’s former Kew Media Distribution colleagues: Anton Romalijski as director of sales, Lesley Whittock as director of marketing and acquisitions, and Claire Hoskin as director of business affairs.
Paul McGowan, chairman of Amcomri, will sit on the board of AMR together with Ford and also Larry Howard, director of Amcomri, and Andy Lyon, managing director of 101 Films.
Ford said the company’s focus will not solely be distribution, but also working with production partners to get titles pre-sold and set up with financing.
“This is a competitive industry and I wanted to set up a company that is streamlined and innovative — an open and fully transparent organization,” said Ford.
Amcomri chairman Paul McGowan said: “Having fostered close producer and sales partnerships over decades, Jonathan is absolutely the right person to penetrate the international TV market with Abacus Media Rights.”
Amcomri Media Group acquired a majority interest in movie distribution business 101 Films in 2016. That deal was followed by the acquisition of the business and assets of Metrodome and the re-establishment of sales agency Hollywood Classics International. Amcomri also acquired Palisades Tartan and in 2017 established Amcomri Film Partners, which has provided funding for productions including “Rabid,” “She Never Died,” “Redacted” and “Disturbing the Peace.”