The company has backing from German major Constantin Film as well as a strategic partnership with Bron (more details to follow on the latter). The outfit will develop and produce premium local-language film and series, capitalizing on the current boom in that type of content, which is primarily being propelled by the streamers with hits such as Squid Game, Lupin and Dark.
Brodlie was most recently Senior Vice President of International Content for Disney+, where he led the content strategy for the company in all non-U.S. markets. He was previously director of Original Film at Netflix where he was responsible for pics including Set It Up and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and also held roles at Paramount and Sony.
Kier joins from his position as President at sales and production co Sierra/Affinity, where he managed titles including Spotlight and I, Tonya. He was previously at the Weinstein Company and Dimension film, where he worked on The King’s Speech.
Upgrade is also hiring Sierra/Affinity’s Max Kondziolka as Manager of International Sales, and Disney+’s Clara Bartlett as Content Manager.
The company said it is already working with production companies in territories including Eastern Europe, Latin America and Japan and is financing development of original IP with local authors, filmmakers and showrunners.
“There has been a profound shift in the viewing habits around the globe that has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for foreign language films and series,” said Upgrade co-president Brodlie. “Drawing from relationships with creative talent around the world, we are driven to bring compelling stories to the big and small screen. We already have an amazing slate in active development and are thrilled to officially launch.”
Fellow co-president Kier added, “It’s equally exciting to be working with Constantin Film, Bron and distributors that we have worked with from around the world as they expand into the content production space to provide the series and feature films that audiences are waiting for. These are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage.”
Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film’s CEO, added, “Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier are synonymous with success and style and under their leadership Upgrade Productions will be an immense source of pride for us all. Our efforts to bring top quality productions to the audiences of the world has reached a new level. I and the whole Constantin Film team look very much forward to be part of this exceptional journey.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.