Film4 appoints new head of distribution and sales (exclusive) | News

The UK’s Film4 has appointed Universal Pictures executive Stefanie Fahrion to its newly-created post of head of distribution and sales.

Fahrion will take up the role later this month, joining from London-based Universal Pictures Content Group (UPCG) where she is currently director, acquisitions and production.

Her new remit includes overseeing sales and distribution strategy on all Film4 productions, covering studio and streamer partnerships and independently- financed sales agent titles.

Fahrion will assess projects prior to greenlight; will lead on appointing sales agents and devising festival strategy; then will work with distributors through commercial launch and awards campaigns to maximise international and diverse audience reach.

Joining the UK organisation’s management team, she will report to director of Film4 Daniel Battsek, and work alongside the business affairs, finance, commissioning, marketing and PR teams.

Legacy

Since joining UPCG in 2015, Fahrion has negotiated worldwide and multi-territory distribution deals for films including Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, Spike Lee’s David Byrne’s American Utopia, Coky Giedroyc’s Film4-backed How To Build A Girl, Philip Noyce’s upcoming crime film Peggy Jo starring Lily James, and recent Berlinale 2021 selections Tina and Best Sellers.

Prior to joining UPCG, she worked for Studiocanal from its Berlin office, on international acquisitions including Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and John Carney’s Sing Street. Her previous roles also include working for UK sales firm Independent Film Company, and the Berlinale’s European Film Market.

When speaking to Screen in January, senior execs from Film4’s commissioning team described the new role as the legacy of long-time deputy director Sue Bruce-Smith, who died in May 2020.

“Stefanie’s knowledge, skillset, and acquisitions and distribution experience within both the studio and independent sectors, give her a broad perspective on the global market, which will be a vital asset as we navigate the challenges and optimise commercial and brand opportunities in this fast-changing world,” said Battsek.

”I’ve long admired Film4’s commitment to finding fresh voices, fostering filmmaking talent and telling bold stories,” added Fahrion. ”I look forward to embracing this new role and connecting Film4’s upcoming projects with distribution partners and audiences worldwide.”

Film4’s 2021 slate includes new films from Martin McDonagh, Jonathan Glazer, Rose Glass, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lynne Ramsay, Oliver Hermanus and Mark Jenkin.

Upcoming festival launches include Eva Husson’s Mothering Sunday, Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain, Michael Pearce’s Invasion, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Earwig, Julia Ducournau’s Titanium and Jim Archer’s Brian And Charles.

Film4 titles lined up for 2021 release include Jonathan Butterell’s Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho, Cathy Brady’s Wildfire, Aml Ameen’s Boxing Day, Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse and Ben Sharrock’s Limbo.