Maple Pictures has signed industry veteran Tony Cianciotta as a senior consultant. His appointment is the second at Maple this month - following that of Susan Smythe-Bishop as vice-president, publicity and promotions - reflecting the growing distribution plans for the Canadian distributor. Maple signed a long-term output deal with Miramax in October.

Throughout his long career in Canada, he has held senior positions at Twentieth-Century Fox, Canada, exhibitor Cineplex Odeon (now Cineplex Entertainment), and Alliance Releasing (now Alliance Films). Cianciotta's last position was at Maximum Films Distribution, now E1 Films Canada.

'Tony's unparalleled resume and excellent reputation complement Maple's executive team perfectly,' said Maple COO Brad Pelman in a statement. 'His years of experience with some of Canada's leading film distributors will be an essential part of building Maple's brand.'

'We are thrilled to bring Tony on as a senior consultant, ' echoed Sherry. 'His exceptional skills and reputation within the international community will provide Maple access to some of the world's most respected and critically acclaimed filmmakers.'

For his part, Cianciotta said, 'Film is my passion and I'm committed to seeking out top quality films from emerging and established filmmakers, both in Canada and around the world. I believe Maple Pictures to be a perfect fit and look forward to being part of their dynamic team.'

Maple has its work cut out for it. Today, Alliance Films announced 2008 results showing it had a 14% market share, making it second only to Paramount Pictures as the highest-grossing distributor in Canada.