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Source: Ciudad Lunar / Blond Indian / Emanuel Rojas

Birds Of Passage

Paul Davidson is stepping down as executive vice-president of film and television of The Orchard in a move that follows the recent sale of the film group to investor 1091 Media.

Davidson has led the division for five years, overseeing acquisitions and releases on such titles as Birds Of Passage, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Neruda, El Angel, American Animals, and The Hummingbird Project.

At time of writing sources could not expand on the succession plan, nor did they elaborate on 1091 Media’s plans for the film and television business. When 1091 Media announced the acquisition in January it said it will pick up all existing operations of The Orchard’s film and TV business, which will proceed as an as-yet unnamed new company.

The company added in its January announcement that it expected to continue to buy content, and pursue opportunities in video content and distribution through new technologies and platforms.

In a memo to staff on Tuesday (26) Davidson said as the company ended a chapter in its life, he had decided to move on and “build something new”, despite being asked by 1091 Media to stay on and run the company in its new iteration.

The memo appears below:


When I came to The Orchard almost five years ago, it was clear there was great potential for the film division, which would build off the amazing achievements of the music side of the business, with the same spirit of transparency and true partnership. We saw the opportunity to replicate this success for film directors, producers and content creators, and we launched a new strategy for the film group, bolstered by a stellar, wildly creative team of leaders passionate about film and smart about business.

I’m very proud of what we’ve built with The Orchard in such a short amount of time: a well-recognized brand associated with high-quality films, strategic thinking, collaboration and creativity, and a track record of critically acclaimed (and award-nominated) films including What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, American Animals, The Hero, We the Animals, The Overnight, Birds of Passage, Neruda, Beats Per Minute, Cartel Land, Life, Animated, The Dawn Wall and so many more – about 4,000 more to be exact.

Now, as the company ends one chapter and begins another, I have made the decision to move on from The Orchard film group. While I am very appreciative that 1091 asked me to continue to run the company in its new iteration, for me the time is right to look toward my own next chapter and build something new. There are exciting things on the horizon, and I look forward to sharing more when I’m able.

I want to thank Brad for his support for all these years. He has always been a huge supporter of what we’ve been doing and has been an incredible partner. Without his support and that of the management team at The Orchard, we would not be where we are today. I also want to thank the entire team, whose hard work and passion attracted a stable of incredible filmmakers, emerging new voices and prolific producing teams which, in turn, spread the word about the valuable brand we’ve built.

This has been an immensely personal journey for me, and I am incredibly proud of the work we have all done together and of the relationships we have forged. I wish you all the very best!