Steven Bickel has replaced Elizabeth Kim as president of international at Los Angeles-based The Film Department.

Bickel starts work on Feb 25 and reports directly to CEO Mark Gill and president and COO Neil Sacker.

It is understood that the departure of former Lionsgate executive Kim after barely six months in the job was amicable and resulted from divergent expectations.

Bickel arrives from Aura Entertainment, a production and distribution partnership with Lexington Entertainment Group, where he served as president since 2001.

Prior to Aura, Bickel was president of Samuel Goldwyn International where he oversaw distribution and marketing on tiles such as The Madness Of King George and Much Ado About Nothing.

Upon the sale of Goldwyn to MGM, Bickel was made president of Shooting Gallery International where he handled sales and marketing on a roster of independent titles including You Can Count On Me.

His earlier appointments include president of Richard Branson's US-based entertainment division Virgin Vision and vice president of independent sales at Warner Bros. International.

The Film Department has a $200m capitalisation and plans to fully finance and produce six films a year budgeted in the $10-45m range.