Paris-based Backup Media Group has appointed Guillaume Lirondière as partner while founding principal Jean-Baptiste Babin steps down from operational functions at Backup Films. This is a notable shift at the top of the finance, production and distribution outfit that Babin runs with longtime colleagues and friends David Atlan-Jackson and Joël Thibout. It is an amicable move as Babin seeks new challenges, and with Backup in good shape for the future.
Babin will be ceasing his film financing and production activities by the end of the year, but will carry on overseeing the activities of rights platform, MovieChainer. He will also remain a partner in the Backup Media Group.
Lirondière joined Backup Media as COO from Fidélité Productions in 2016. At the time, the company was entering a new growth phase. After funding over 300 films, it got out of the French tax finance business in 2015 and moved focus to 10-15 international productions a year, fully financing up to five. As partner, Lirondiere will take over Babin’s operations as head of productions for films produced and financed through Backup.
Backup’s current slate includes Wim Wenders’ Submergence, starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy which premiered in Toronto, and Domino by Brian de Palma starring Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Carice Van Houten and Guy Pearce, which wrapped shooting October 2nd. Also on the roster are Girls Of The Sun by Eva Husson and starring Golshifteh Farahani and Emmanuelle Bercot; Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook, which starts principal photography on October 23; and My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece with Leila Marrakchi shooting in 2018.
Says Babin, “I am so proud of what we have achieved over the past 15 years, and I’m convinced Backup’s slate will carry on shining with ambitious films which hit the market strong. Over the last year, Guillaume has done an amazing job with us, both as COO and handling production issues. I have no doubt he has the skills, experience and talent to fully take over productions for Backup… I am and will always remain a Backup militant alongside my co-founding partners and friends.”
Atlan-Jackson and Thibout add, “We wish Baptiste all the best for his next adventures and will miss him, but getting rid of Baptiste’s music every day in the office is a bit of a relief.”