Hanno Huth is to step down from his board position at Senator Entertainment on Dec 31 and plans to set up his own production outfit in the New Year.

Huth says he wants to concentrate on hands-on film production again after being immersed in management tasks at Senator since it launched on the stock exchange.

Huth has worked for 20 years in various managerial posts at the German producer-distributor. He will be replaced as CEO and chairman of the board by Senator Film Produktion managing director Christopher Borgmann.

Huth told ScreenDaily.com that he would come to a decision about setting up his own production outfit "between Christmas and New Year, my annual holiday. I am really looking forward to being closely involved in production again."

Huth, the most successful producer of German language feature films over the past decade, added that he had a number of projects planned for next year. "I would like to do more historical films after the success with Stalingrad, Comedian Harmonists and The Miracle Of Bern. I will also be looking to work with [comedian] Helge [Schneider] and [animation director] Michael Schaack again."

Borgmann said that Senator's future strategy rested on two pillars: "one is German production and distribution; the other is international sales and productions. Both pillars have to be continuously strengthened and enlarged."

According to a company statement, Senator says it will return a positive operating result from its distribution business in the fourth quarter of 2003 thanks to the success of Soenke Wortmann's The Miracle Of Bern and because of a wide-reaching restructuring programme over the past 18 months. In addition, Senator International has earned a significant seven-figure profit just from presales on The Grudge, Boogeyman and Harold And Kumar.

Huth had been a board member of Senator Film since 1991 and chairman since 1998. Borgmann, who will manage the company as CEO jointly with CFO Ingo Stein, began his career at Senator as senior VP legal and business affairs in 2000 and was named managing director of Senator Film Produktion in May 2002.