Three weeks after moving its motion picture operation from Los Angeles to Toronto, Alliance Atlantis is hiring Bill House, one of Canada's most prominent public sector film executives, to boost its feature production profile at home.
In his 15 years as a production and development executive, first at the Ontario Film Development Corporation and currently at Telefilm Canada, where he oversees the Feature Film Fund, House has had a hand in building the careers of a generation of Canadian filmmakers. He will join Alliance Atlantis in March as executive vice president, Motion Picture Production, reporting to Seaton McLean, newly-minted president of the division and a co-founder of the original Atlantis Films.
Alliance Atlantis chairman and CEO Michael MacMillan told Screen International that the company needed to clarify "who is doing what and who is in charge" and that House's appointment was part of that process of building "a trusted team" under McLean. If McLean's shift from his long-time position in the television arm of the company raised some concerns in the film community, House's arrival will likely assuage them. "Bill knows the creative community, he knows the current generation of filmmakers and the upcoming ones," MacMillan said.
MacMillan added that Alliance Atlantis is "deadly serious" about increasing its production output. "It won't change the kind of films we make," he said. "We'll continue to back filmmaker-driven films up to $10m." He declined to put a number to the company's project plans but said: "As a European-Canadian co-producer we're well-positioned."