Film4 senior commissioning executive Peter Carlton is leaving to set up the European division of Warp Films.

Carlton, who leaves Film4 after six years, will also act as executive producer across selected projects from its UK-based slate, and will work closely with Warp Films’ joint managing directors’ Mark Herbert and Robin Gutch.

Warp Europe aims to develop bigger projects with international directors and international appeal. The company will focus on developing and financing non-US English-language projects but will also be open to foreign language projects.

The move is supported by a new first-look deal between Warp and Optimum Releasing and Film4. It will cover the existing and future Warp Films slate, together with low-budget studio Warp X, off-shoot Warp Australia as well as the new European portfolio.

Current projects on the UK slate already announced this year include Richard Ayoade’s debut feature Submarine and Chris Morris’s Four Lions. Further projects from Shane Meadows and Paul King are in the pipeline.

Carlton said: “I believe there’s a great opportunity here to make more ambitious, European-based productions with some of the world’s most distinctive directors, new and established.”

At Film4, Carlton was directly responsible for films including This Is England, Cannes Camera d’Or winner Me & You & Everyone We Know and Steve McQueen’s Hunger.

Herbert added:  “Peter was the first person to commit to our first feature [Shane Meadow’s] Dead Man’s Shoes. Since then we have worked closely on some great films and I am delighted to be able to set up this new venture together. His taste and vision fit the Warp brand and with Optimum and Film 4 still as partners we hope to continue this productive working relationship”

For Optimum Releasing, the venture cements an informal relationship with Warp which started with Dead Man’s Shoes. It also represents another step in building up a production and distribution hub in the UK and seeing international English-language films exploited internationally.