Charlotte Mickie and Sebastian Chesneau are to bolster the sales team of French film sales powerhouse Celluloid Dreams. Their arrival coincides with the forthcoming departure of long-standing Celluloid sales executive Pierre Menahem.
Having handled titles including Bowling For Columbine and Ararat, veteran seller Mickie recently saw her job eliminated by Alliance Atlantis as part of its latest cost-cutting measures (ScreenDaily.com, 17 Dec 2003). Chesneau joins from France Television Distribution, which also announced that it was to slash its film sales operations in January (ScreenDaily.com, 23 Jan 2004).
Menahem is set to depart Celluloid by early April. He will be handling international sales of a currently unidentified film in Cannes, but says his long-term plans are currently undetermined.
Although she has been approached with a number of festival advisory and other consultancy positions since her departure from Alliance Atlantis, Mickie will work full time and exclusively for Celluloid from a new Toronto office.
"Pierre is unique and I am sad to see him leave," said Celluloid chief Hengameh Panahi. "However the arrival of Charlotte and Sebastian allow us to expand and reorganise our sales efforts and to some extent our acquisition activities too." Panahi described Mickie as "the perfect fit," and Chesneau, who started at the beginning of the month, as "very talented and very hard-working". Sales territories are likely to be re-allocated among Celluloid's five front-line sales personnel.
Mickie will also be responsible for acquisitions of films and co-productions sourced from North America. Other acquisitions are to be handled by Panahi and former Senator International staffer, Roman Paul, who also joined Celluloid recently and is based in Berlin.
The new arrivals are expected to permit Celluloid to strengthen its marketing support activities. "I want us each to do less and to do it better. Film sales is not just about doing deals, it is also about follow-up. [Trade] marketing does not bring in cash upfront, but it does deliver results," said Panahi.
Mickie commented: "I am very exited to be working with Celluloid. I have known Hengameh since she pitched a project to me at CineMart in Rotterdam some years ago, but we have not worked together before. I am close to the New York independent scene and have good relations with the Canadian production community and I hope therefore to be able to bolster Celluloid's North American strength both on the sales and acquisitions sides."
Celluloid's current slate includes Theo Angelopoulos's The Weeping Meadow, Cedric Kahn's Red Lights and Eytan Fox's Walk On Water.