Veteran film sales executive Nicole Mackey is joiningFortissimo Film Sales to launch the company's new London branch office.

Mackey joins Fortissimo from Capitol Films, where she washead of sales for the last two years. Before that she held a similar post atthe ill-fated Signpost Films and at LolaFilms UK. Previous sales posts includedthose at J&M Entertainment and Rank Film Distributors.

'Nicole will bring a new dimension to our company withher wealth of experience with producers and directors and her well-establisheddistributor relationships, and further we believe that her profile in the UKwill take us in new directions and unlock new opportunities for us,' saidFortissimo co-chiefs Wouter Barendrecht and Michael J Werner.

The opening of a London office gives the company a third legafter The Netherlands and Hong Kong. It is expected to allow Fortissimo greateraccess to the UK film finance market and thanks to Mackey's Spanishconnections, better access to Spanish-language productions.

Ashley Luke, the company's existing London scout, willshortly move to Australia and take up new responsibilities there.

The move also reflects Fortissimo's diversificationand expansion of its English-language slate. The company recently expanded fromsales into financing and executive producing of films from North Americaincluding Dylan Kidd's P.S. and GreggAraki's Mysterious Skin, both ofwhich premiered at the recent Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. Fortissimo hasalso become an active distributor of award winning documentaries including CapturingThe Friedmans and Super Size Me.

Werner and Barendrecht said, 'We will shortly beannouncing additional structural changes at the company which will enhance ourworldwide sales activities in all media as well as broadening our financialresources and acquisitions capabilities.'

Mackey said, 'I've known Michael for many many years. Ihave great respect and admiration for what he and Wouter have achieved over thelast few years with their company. They have great taste, they have a greatteam, they are enjoying great success and they have a lot of fun doingit.'