Helkon SK chiefs Simon Franks and Zygi Kamasa have renamed their UK distributor Redbus Film Distribution, signalling their imminent separation from bankrupt German parent Helkon Media.
Franks and Kamasa have a contractual right to purchase Helkon Media's equity in their UK business at the end of this year but are seeking an earlier resolution. The duo's company was previously called Redbus when it was backed by Internet tycoon Cliff Stanford and his Redbus group.
Franks, who will own over 70% of the UK company after the extraction, will focus on more corporate activities. He intends to reposition Redbus as a media investments group, building interests in film, broadcasting and ancillary media businesses.
Encouraged by the success of Bend It Like Beckham, which was developed by Helkon SK, Kamasa will run recently-formed production arm Redbus Pictures, aiming to produce up to four films per year. Included in his production team are head of development Emma Berkofsky and Nick Manzi. Kamasa will continue to work with Franks in acquisitions.
Sales agent Lakeshore has boarded the first in-house production under the banner Redbus Pictures - Tooth. Redbus, which has quietly been taking rights outside the UK on some titles, will retain UK, German, French and Eastern European rights to the $12m fantasy kids comedy, which stars Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry, Richard E Grant, Philida Law and Jim Broadbent.
One week into photography, the production is directed by commercials director Ed Nammour. Kamasa, Franks and Susie Brook Smith are producing.
Franks has also bolstered the Redbus board with the appointment of Anthony Ceravolo as director, corporate finance and Guy Avshalom as director of business affairs. Chris Bailey continues as managing director of the theatrical business, while Richard Brooker is head of home entertainment.