UK independent production and sales firm MetFilm has moved into distribution with the acquisition of Republic Film Distribution, the distribution company run by former Icon Films executive Zak Brilliant.
Brilliant will operate as head of MetFilm Distribution, a new distribution division of MetFilm, and will also be head of MetFilm Sales.
MetFilm Distribution will aim to release six to eight titles per year, and says the majority of its releases “will have a strong theatrical focus”. It is planning to make further staff hires soon.
It will take on Republic’s all-rights slate, with the first release being Kim Hopkins’ A Bunch Of Amateurs, which won the audience award at Sheffield DocFest this year. The film, which is sold by MetFilm Sales, will open in UK venues from November 11.
The slate includes Becky Hutner’s MetFilm Sales’ documentary Fashion Reimagined, about sustainability in the fashion industry.
MetFilm Sales will remain focused on selling documentary features and series; Brilliant will work with the existing team there of Mitch Clare, Jenny Bonhoff and Ella Pham.
Brilliant worked at Icon Films for over 16 years, rising to head of distribution, before setting up Republic in 2019. The company has worked as an all-rights distributor on films including Bafta and Bifa winner For Sama and Billie Piper’s directorial debut Rare Beasts; and is a theatrical servicing partner on Amazon Studios’ Catherine Called Birdy, in cinemas last weekend, and Nanny, releasing on November 25.
“[MetFilm’s] commitment to great storytelling through production and sales perfectly aligns with my vision for a dynamic, collaborative and plucky UK distribution business that supports British film and the best of world cinema,” said Brilliant.
The MetFilm group also includes MetFilm Production, which is in production on its first docuseries The Happenings; and the MetFilm School, which launched a Leeds campus in October last year.
“Whilst adding strength, breadth and versatility to our production and distribution work, the development also creates opportunity for our students and graduates to learn from, and experience first-hand, each stage of a production’s life cycle,” said Jonny Persey, director of MetFilm.