Backup Hires COO To Bolster Production & Finance Biz; TrustNordisk Revs Up ‘Drib’ – Toronto Briefs


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Former Fidélité Films CFO/COO Guillaume Lirondière has joined Paris-based finance, production and distribution outfit Backup Media (Still Alice) as COO. The exec will spearhead production and finance at Backup with founding partners Jean-Baptiste Babin, David Atlan Jackson and Joël Thibout. Backup is entering a new growth phase as it heads to Toronto. Last year, it got out of the French tax finance business after funding over 300 films. Its focus going forward will be on 10-15 international productions a year with up to five being fully financed. The current lineup includes Guy Pearce/Dakota Fanning-starrer Brimstone; Fabrice Du Welz’ Message From The King with Chadwick Boseman and Luke Evans; and Submergence from director Wim Wenders and starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander. Atlan Jackson says, “Working on 40 to 50 films a year for so long — with its load of successful projects but also not so successful ones — has helped us gain experience, expertise and some kind of wisdom, which we now will try to use along with our sweat and capital, on a more manageable volume of films.”

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TrustNordisk has boarded Norwegian dramedy Drib. Kristoffer Borgli’s debut feature is a ficion/documentary hybrid that’s based on the real-life story of how the director’s good friend almost became the international face of a well-known energy drink when an LA-based ad agency mistook his staged viral videos for the real thing. The film tracks how art becomes commerce, how fiction becomes fact, and how something fake can have very real effects. Artist and stand-up comedian Amir Asgharnejad stars with Brett Gelman (Jobs, Mad Men, Twin Peaks) and internet activist Adam Pearson (Under The Skin). Borgli first made a name for himself with the award winning short film Whateverest.

Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures has appointed Sandra Karr as COO. She joins from Telefilm Canada where she was Director of National Business Affairs. The hire comes just ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival where Brightlight is handling international on Nacho Vigalando’s kaiju monster mash-up and Anne Hathaway-starrer Colossal.

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