Shindler will join from October 1 and will report to Studiocanal CEO Didier Lupfer. Maxime Saada, CEO of the Canal Plus Group and Studiocanal Chairman, just announced the hire to staff in London.
This is a semi appointment-from-within given that Vivendi-owned Studiocanal has owned a majority stake in Red since 2013. The highly-decorated Shindler will continue to oversee Red, where she has produced BAFTA-winning TV dramas including Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax. Her most recent feature was 2012 crime-drama Blood with Paul Bettany and Mark Strong.
In her new position at Studiocanal, Shindler will be tasked with setting up and running a new in-house film production arm developing British features. Studiocanal has a similar operation in France and is initiating the same in Germany. She will work closely with Studiocanal’s production lead Ron Halpern who will continue to oversee third-party productions. I understand there are likely to be one or two more hires in the London office and Shindler, who will continue to be based in Manchester, will likely up her time in London going forward.
Given the new appointment, Red will see some management changes of its own: Richard Fee, Michaela Fereday and Jemma Rogers will now work alongside her as Red’s executive producers and Davina Earl will become Head of Development. Red Creative Director Caroline Hollick recently joined Channel 4 as its new Head Of Drama.
Shindler told me this morning, “The idea of developing film as well as TV felt very natural. The division between the two has decreased. There are people I’ve worked with on TV who want to think about features and vice versa. The ambitions of Studiocanal UK and my own seemed to be in sync. The priorities now are to find really good films and to work with exceptional British talent both from film and TV. At the same time, we’ll make sure everything at Red is totally protected and carries on as normal.”
As we broke in June, Perkins is leaving in coming weeks to set up his own production firm. During his 12-year tenure, he positioned the firm as one of the UK’s most prominent film players and oversaw UK distribution on box office hits including Paddington 1 & 2, Legend, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Early Man and Shaun The Sheep Movie. The two Paddington movies generated more than $120M in the UK alone. Perkins also oversaw UK releases for awards movies such as Carol, Manchester By The Sea, Room, The Wrestler, The Hurt Locker and The Imitation Game.
But film acquisitions have waned and the UK team’s executive ranks have shrunk in turn. The hire of a leading TV exec for the role of UK CEO is further confirmation that Studiocanal is moving away from UK film acquisitions. Of course, that’s a trend within the industry as a whole. And it’s another reminder for indie film professionals that the UK has become one of the toughest and most squeezed theatrical territories out there.
Vivendi recently relocated the whole Studiocanal UK team out of Soho and into plush new King’s Cross offices in a shared building with its subsidiaries Universal Music Group and video game firm Gameloft. The building is also nearer to the London branch of its advertising and communications agency Havas. Vincent Bollore’s media conglomerate has been keen to foster closer ties between its companies but has also pushed a busy acquisition and consolidation strategy which has meant regular shuffling of the Canal Plus and Studiocanal ranks.
Studiocanal has the world premiere tonight in London of James Marsh heist movie King Of Thieves, starring Michael Caine. Red’s recent and upcoming shows include Harlan Coben’s Safe which stars Michael C Hall and Amanda Abbington for Netflix; Come Home, a three-part series for the BBC, written by Danny Brocklehurst; Butterfly by Tony Marchant, for ITV, and starring Anna Friel; Trust Me series two, written by Dan Sefton; and Years & Years written by Russell T Davies. Shindler and Russell T Davies are making The Boys for Channel 4 in 2019.