EXCLUSIVE: StudioCanal executive Nick McKay to start in April.

UK distributor Soda Pictures has appointed StudioCanal executive Nick McKay as head of distribution.

McKay will start at Soda in April and manage the core distribution team, working across acquisitions, partnerships and business development.

The London-based exec, an 12 year-StudioCanal [previously Optimum in the UK] veteran who is currently head of theatrical sales, was recently responsible for booking recent box office hits Paddington and The Imitation Game.

Recent acquisitions for Soda include Gemma Bovery, starring Gemma Arterton; Michael Winterbottom’s Face of an Angel; Christian Petzold’s Phoenix; and Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club.

Last year, the company merged with Canadian film and TV outfit Thunderbird Films to grow their business in the UK and build a distribution division in North America.

Co-founders and managing directors of Soda, Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher said: “We are very excited about Nick joining Soda to work with us on taking the business to the next stage, bringing a new perspective to our film releases and adding his personal touch to all that we do.”

Gabereau added: “Nick was one of the first people I met when I moved to the UK. We worked at the London Film Festival together - and it has been great to be industry colleagues over the years. Now, it is even better to be working together.

“His achievements at StudioCanal are commendable and I look forward to having him as a business partner in this exciting time of change and growth for us.”

McKay said: “I am delighted to be joining Soda at what is a truly special time for the company. I have been a long-standing admirer of what Eve and Ed have already achieved and I cannot wait to contribute to this significant phase as the company continues to drive onwards and upwards.”