Danny Dimbort is to leave his longtime business partner Avi Lerner and go with Christian Mercuri to head the new sales division at Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland’s LA-based production and finance company.

The pair will continue in their current roles at Nu Image during Cannes, before they segue into Red Granite International, which opens its doors and commences operations this summer.

Joe Gatta is leaving his current position as head of sister company Millennium Films to head the enhanced production unit at Red Granite Pictures, effective immediately.

Dimbort, who co-founded Nu Image with Lerner, Trevor Short and Danny Lerner, becomes president and Mercuri, the Nu Image president of international sales and distribution, is named co-president.

Red Granite intends to produce four to five features a year and is actively seeking negative pick-ups and third party productions for the slate. Red Granite recently teamed up with Point West Productions and Locomotive on the rom-com Friends With Kids.

“This is an exciting time for Red Granite Pictures,” Red Granite vice-chairman McFarland said. “We have big plans for the company but realise that at this crucial stage you’re only as good as your senior executive team paving the way for continued growth. With Danny, Christian and Joe on board, we feel we are in a great position to grow the company, establish a significant footprint in the global film arena and ultimately build a strong brand.”

“Danny, Christian and Joe have a tremendous pedigree and bring a wealth of experience that completes a crucial piece of the Red Granite business model,” founder, chairman and CEO Aziz said. “We are tremendously excited to have them join our international sales team, and we look forward to working together to bring high quality commercial feature films to the marketplace.”