Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has tapped John Penotti as president to replace Jim Tauber, who retired to practice psychotherapy. And one day after Sony Pictures hired Fox’s Sanford Panitch to ramp up slates of local-language films for the international marketplace, it has formed SKE Global with Ivanhoe Pictures, the production entity backed by financier Robert Friedland and run by producer Penotti.
SKE Global will co-finance and co-produce a slate of local-language films in China, South Korea, India and other international territories. It also has the option to participate in Ivanhoe’s 10-picture slate of films for India that Ivanhoe generated with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions. In addition, SKE Global will look to mine the SKE and Ivanhoe libraries, a combined 70 English-language films, for potential local-language remake opportunities.
Before he got backing from Friedland to start Ivanhoe, Penotti headed GreeneStreet Films and oversaw films including In The Bedroom, and many others. Penotti broke in as an A.D. for Sidney Lumet. He continues to be vice chairman of Ivanhoe’s board of directors. Carla Hacken continues at the company, responsible for SKE’s English-language projects. She and Penotti report to Kimmel.
Kimmel stated: “John is a longtime collaborator and friend, and I couldn’t be more pleased he’s coming aboard as president. He is tireless and his plans for international co-productions, which he started at Ivanhoe, are very exciting.”