The division will focus on emerging filmmakers from across the world, working with them to generate opportunities for content creation in an increasingly global business. Van Steemburg will officially start in August.
“We’ve been fortunate to work with many visionary directors, and found the greatest success by fully supporting their vision and ensuring that they have the tools they need to execute at the highest level,” said XYZ. “Peter is a perfect fit to continue building on these core values. He has a strong track record of recognizing talent and emphatically supporting their work, and his skillset is well-suited to guide artists through the new world of content creation and consumption.”
LA-based executive Van Steemburg was most recently Vice President of Acquisitions & Production at the Universal Pictures Content Group, where he was responsible for buying indie features for North America. Releases during his time at the studio include Piercing and An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn.
He began his career at the international distribution division of Miramax before joining the film finance department at CineticMedia. Following this, he spent eight years working in the acquisitions department for Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing where is he was responsible for negotiating the U.S. rights for features such as Beyond The Black Rainbow, Nymphomaniac, Drinking Buddies, Europa Report, Big Bad Wolves, Last Day On Mars, The Sacrament, Blackfish and Bronson. In 2015, he joined ICM Partners as an agent in the international independent film finance team.
“I am truly honored to be invited into the XYZ family,” he said. “I did my very first deals in the business with XYZ. Advocating on behalf of filmmakers is my greatest passion and no other company is at the vanguard for distinctive and risk-taking voices like XYZ Films. I am wildly impressed with the company that they have built over the past decade and I couldn’t be more thrilled to dive into this new initiative.”
Genre specialist XYZ celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2018. Since then the company has brought in Tatyana Joffe as President of International Sales, and hired Tamir Ardon to head its new documentary division.
Recent titles on the sales slate include Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium, which had its world premiere in Cannes Critics’ Week, Joe Penna’s Stowaway starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette, Benson & Moorhead’s Synchronic starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan, and Richard Stanley’s Color Out Of Space starring Nicolas Cage.