Xavier Marchand has been confirmed as the new managing director of UK distributor Momentum Pictures with a mandate to expand the company into Europe and boost its UK presence.

The appointment, which was predicted by ScreenDaily.com (Dec 2003), became effective January 1.

Marchand will report to Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution LP chief executive officer Victor Loewy and president Patrice Theroux.

Marchand, whose track record includes spells at PolyGram, Warner Bros and UPI, will be based at Momentum's London head office.

In a statement, parent company Alliance Atlantis said: "Marchand's clear mandate is two fold: to spearhead the company's stated objective of expanding into key European markets like Spain, France and Germany; and to continue to grow the firm's presence in the UK as one of the market's most important independent distributors."

Recent Momentum releases in the UK include Amelie, O Brother Where Art Thou', The Magdalene Sisters, Bowling For Columbine and My Little Eye.

Upcoming releases this year include Lost In Translation, Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty and Paul Morrison's Wondrous Oblivion.