Civilian Content, parent company of film financier TheFilm Consortium and sales agent The Works, has launched a new UK distributioncompany called The Works UK Distribution.

Industryveteran Mick Southworth and three of his key colleagues from the UK distributionarm of Anglo-US outfit ContentFilm have left to form The Works Distribution.

Joining Southworth are LaurenceGornall, who joins the board of The Works Distribution as director ofmarketing, David Shear, who has been appointed head of sales and Lucy Fleet whojoins as head of press.

The new company begins trading today from Civilian's centralLondon offices. The move is part of publicly quoted Civilian's plan to build avertically integrated business which will now operate across production, salesand distribution. Last year, Civilian Content made a pre-tax profit of $1.5m(£771,000).

TheWorks Distribution is actively acquiring product for release and on August 199 willkick off its slate with its release of Paul Marcus's Heidi, starringEmma Bolger, Diana Rigg and Max von Sydow. Produced by Piccadilly Pictures, Heidiis co-financed by Civilian's joint venture partner Sure Fire Films.

Southworth said that The Works Distribution would look toacquire a 'broad spectrum of product' for release.

In their previous roles working at ContentFilm, and beforethat at Winchester Entertainment, the team behind The Works Distributionreleased mainstream titles such as Open Range, Undercover Brother and TheMan Who Sued God as well as arthouse fare such as Lantana, Baise-Moiand My Summer Of Love.

Southworth pointed out that The Works Distribution would notautomatically release pictures sold by sister company, sales agent The Works -headed by Joy Wong.

"We know that Joy and her team have terrific relationshipsin place with some very good distributors in the UK and rightly so as The Workshas some excellent product. We will have to compete effectively with theirexisting UK clients on a commercial arms length basis as we did on My SummerOf Love," commented Southworth.

Southworth and the ContentFilm team last year released PawelPawlikowski's My Summer Of Love which was produced by The FilmConsortium and sold by The Works.

Chris Auty, managing director of Civilian Content, said:"The UK release of My Summer Of Love was extremely well handled and whenCivilian decided to move into domestic distribution there was a clear logic toworking with this successful team."

Southworth will report to Auty and Civilian Group financialdirector Norman Humphrey. He willcontinue to be employed on a non-exclusive basis by ContentFilm until December2005 to supervise its existing titles due for theatrical release.

The departure of the ContentFilm distribution team to set upThe Works Distribution comes after a long period of restructuring atContentFilm.

Earlier this year, ContentFilm, which is listed on AIMstock-market, acquired the Fireworks Film Library for £15 and confirmed thatveteran producer Ed Pressman had resigned as joint chief executive.

On June 22, in a little noticed trading statement, it announcedthat it was 'exiting from the film production business and withdrawing overtime from theatrical distribution' to concentrate on building its film andtelevision library.