Chris Ball’s fledgling distributor Wrekin Hill Entertainment has signed an exclusive US home entertainment deal with Lionsgate.

Ball left the Exclusive Media Group fold as co-chairman and president and co-founder of Newmarket Films at the end of September to launch Wrekin Hill.

Wrekin Hill will release films under its own label and has also licensed the Newmarket Films label for use on a non-exclusive basis.

Newmarket and Wrekin Hill will also jointly release select upcoming titles from Exclusive, including Peter Weir’s The Way Back, Billy Joel documentary The Last Play At Shea and Newmarket’s Sundance acquisition Hesher.

Ball is joined at Wrekin by his longtime Newmarket colleagues Rene Cogan, COO-and CFO, and John Crye, president of production and acquisitions.

“We have had a great relationship with Chris for many years and are thrilled to be working with him on this new venture,” Lionsgate president and co-COO Steve Beeks said. “We are proud to have Wrekin Hill as our partner and look forward to the opportunity to release their films on multiple formats.”

“We will be announcing several acquisitions shortly and we are looking forward to working with Lionsgate on these films,” Ball added.

Cogan brokered the deal with Lionsgate’s executive vice-president, business and legal affairs, acquisitions and co-productions Wendy Jaffe.