Jan Declercq and Alexander Vandeputte of distributor Lumiere are strengthening ties with Esther Bannenberg, and the three will jointly handle Benelux acquisitions for Lumiere.

Bannenberg will continue to do outside work with festivals, markets and training bodies through TOTO, but will now have more focus on being an acquisitions executive at Lumiere.

Bannenberg was previously senior VP of Fortissimo Films Sales for 10 years.

Lumiere's recent acquisitions include Stellet Licht by Carlos Reygadas, You The Living by Roy Andersson, The Drummer of Kenneth BI and Mongol by Sergei Bodrov.

Bannenberg said of Declercq and Vandeputte: 'They have carefully built their distribution assets over the past years, not only with great films and solid release partners in the Benelux territories, but also with an excellent reputation in their release strategies.'

Declercq added: 'Lumiere is fortunate with the knowledge and network that Esther adds to help to bring us to the next level of growth.'