The new Montreal-based agency will serve as a full service sales agent that licenses theatrical features to distributors worldwide. The duo will serve as co-presidents of the new venture, which is backed by Canadian production group DATSIT Sphere.
The focus will be on independent films with crossover potential, and art house films with awards pedigree from Québec, Canada and around the globe. The firm has also struck a deal with Les Films Séville to exclusively distribute films from the Seville International catalogue including Cannes selections Matthias et Maxime from Xavier Dolan and Monia Chokri’s La femme De Mon Frère.
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“It is important that Quebec films be distributed internationally by a local company,” explained Patrick Roy, President of Les Films Séville, about the deal with WaZabi. “It is natural for us to entrust our films to Anick and Lorne. It also provides continuity to our partner filmmakers and producers.”
Poirier was until recently head of sales at eOne-owned Seville International, a company she joined 17 years ago. Price was director of sales at Seville after a long stint at the National Film Board Of Canada.
eOne won’t replace Poirier and Price at the shuttering Seville International label as the company looks to prioritize other areas of its entertainment business. The well-regarded boutique sales outfit repped titles including Animal Kingdom, Incendies, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Mommy, The Babadook and multiple movies by Canadian filmmakers Xavier Dolan and Denys Arcand.
The changes come at a time when the international sales sector is experiencing significant transformation. eOne all-but shuttered its international film sales division in 2016 and third-party distribution acquisitions are less common for the company. Last month it was reported that eOne president and chief content officer Mark Gordon is likely to exit the Canadian giant or segue to a new role.
“We are excited to continue to passionately represent the best that film has to offer to audiences worldwide. We are aiming to represent between 10 to 15 films per year and are currently exploring several options from all over the world”, commented Poirier on the new banner.
Price added, “We are equally excited to do it as part of the DATSIT Sphere team. As a multi-faceted, dynamic company, it will also allow us to explore expanding our activities.”
“We are thrilled to add talents like Anick and Lorne to our team. The arrival of WaZabi Films aligns with our growth plans and allows us to continue our strategy of international expansion”, said Bruno Dubé, President and CEO of DATSIT Sphère.
DATSIT Sphère was created by the merger of Quebec production companies DATSIT Studios and Sphere Media. The group recently added Go Films, Oasis Animation and Quiet Motion to its portfolio.
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