The former Autlook Sales executive takes the reins of the company as founder Heino Deckert shifts gears to focus fully on production. Deckert has also further expanded with the hire of sales and acquisitions executive Patrizia Mancini.
Verbrugge, who previously oversaw TV and VOD sales for Autlook, joined Deckert in early 2019 as head of sales and acquisitions. In her career, she has been responsible for the roll-out of double Academy Award-nominated “Honeyland” and for acquiring Francesco Montagner’s “Brotherhood” and Ahmet Necdet Cupur’s “Les Enfants Terribles.” She started in film production and worked for festivals such as IDFA and Cinekid before switching to international film sales in 2014.
Deckert, who founded the sales agent in 2003, will remain a shareholder in the outfit, and also serve as an advisor. He said that after several years of managing various companies, he is “looking forward to focusing fully on my role as a producer” with his fiction and documentary-focused production company, Maja.de.
Said the executive of Verbrugge: “I think she is the best and I have full trust in what she will do. With our production company, Maja.de, we have a very exciting period ahead of us, with the shoot of a large fiction film early next year: Timm Kröger’s fiction debut as German/Austrian and Swiss co-production ‘The Theory of Everything.’ Plus we have several great documentary projects in the works, including the latest of Victor Kossakovsky, ‘Architecton.'”
Elsewhere, Mancini will join Deckert Distribution at the end of this year after four years as an international development executive at French festival Sunny Side of the Doc, prior to which she built several years of experience in documentary sales.
“In the past years I have always looked at Deckert’s catalogue as one of the most engaging in the European sales landscape and I couldn’t be more happy at the perspective of starting this new adventure working with my new colleagues,” said Mancini.
Verbrugge said in a statement: “I am really excited about starting this new adventure, and feel we have a great team. But I am also happy to still have Heino in the family. His taste and connections have built up such a strong catalogue over the years, and we have an understanding that has created a great partnership.”
She added: “We are glad to welcome with Patrizia such an experienced and competent reinforcement for our company.”
Verbrugge noted that Deckert’s focus going forward will be largely “artistic films that can captivate the audience.”
“But most importantly, the projects need to move us,” she said. “We are a small and dedicated team, and for us, working with films that we believe in, and with teams that we can build a long-lasting, trusting relationship with, is the most important.”
Deckert Distribution will be at documentary festival IDFA in Amsterdam to present its latest lineup, including IDFA Envision Competition entry “Eat Your Catfish.” IDFA runs from Nov. 17-28.
(Pictured, L-R: Liselot Verbrugge and Heino Deckert)