By Indiewire | Indiewire December 1, 2003 at 2:00AM
ContentFilm To Announce Acquisition of U.K.'s Winchester Entertainment
by Eugene Hernandez
Today, ContentFilm is planning to announce a takeover of U.K. company Winchester Entertainment. Winchester is a publicly listed, London-based production, distribution, and financing company with offices in Los Angeles as well. The combined company will maintain the ContentFilm name and continue to be led by joint CEOs Ed Pressman and John Schmidt.
"This deal is the first stage of a plan to build up a major integrated U.K.-listed film company, capable of production, financing, and distribution," said a person close to the deal. "We will be bringing some of the brightest management in the U.S. film industry to London, and have some of the savviest backers in the business." Continuing the person said, "We will be combining this with U.K. talent to create a real powerhouse in British filmmaking. This is a very exciting development for the U.K. film industry."
In 2002, Winchester released "Lantana" and "Baise Moi" and also served as sales agent for "Last Orders." The company also sold Kevin Costner's "Open Range" before hitting financial and other difficulties, including the departure of chief exec Gary Smith.
Last year, ContentFilm announced the creation of an international sales division based in London and headed by former Icon Entertainment exec Jamie Carmichael. The company is understood to have further expansion and acquisitions in mind in the U.K. and abroad, according to a source close to the company.
ContentFilm's "The Cooler," which debuted at Sundance earlier this year, opened in theaters over the weekend. Its other productions include the upcoming film "The Hebrew Hammer" and the recent "Party Monster."