Independent Distribution, Fandango Portobello to co-release Matteo Garrone’s Reality; Independent promotes Sarah Townsend, Stefanie Fahrion.

Independent Distribution and Fandango Portobello are to co-release Matteo Garonne’s Cannes Grand Prix winner Reality in the UK.

The deal was negotiated between Luc Roeg, CEO of Independent, and Janine Gold of Fandango Portobello.

Leading the December release will be Independent’s newly appointed heads of distribution, Sarah Townsend and Stefanie Fahrion. The deal also marks sales company Fandango Portobello’s first foray into UK theatrical distribution.

Townsend has been at Independent as head of marketing in the international sales team for the last six years but now takes the role of head of distribution and marketing working alongside Fahrion, who is promoted to co-run the business as head of distribution and acquisitions.

Roeg commented: “Sarah and Stefanie are the perfect candidates to build on the foundations the company has established and drive Independent Distribution to the next level. We are all very excited to be working with Janine and her whole team at Fandango Portobello on the release of Matteo Garrone’s exceptional film Reality.”

Gold commented: “This is the perfect opportunity for us to explore expanding into distribution in the UK, which we have been contemplating for some time.  We are thrilled to be co-distributing Reality with Sarah, Stefanie, and the team at Independent.”

Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli and Nando Paone star in Big Brother-inspired Italian drama Reality, which explores the extreme lengths some people will go to for their five minutes of fame. 

Garrone’s acclaimed 2008 drama Gomorrah also won the Cannes Grand Prix.