Rick Sands, the chairman of worldwide distribution at Miramax Films, has been promoted again, this time to chief operating officer. Sands, a familiar face on the international festival and market circuit who oversees all international deals for the company, will continue to oversee domestic and international sales and distribution and will be responsible for overseeing the company's activities relating to production finance, marketing finance and overhead finance.

He will continue to report directly to company co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who made the announcment yesterday. Sands' promotion comes in the aftermath of the departure from Miramax of Mark Gill, president of Miramax LA, and one of the company's chief lieutenants.

"During Rick's twelve year tenure at Miramax, he has demonstrated keen insight and skills in managing many of our international business interests and the worldwide distribution of our films," said the Weinsteins in a statement. "He has done a tremendous job in helping us develop and maintain the Miramax brand internationally and truly understands how to maximize our efficiency."

"Working more closely with Bob and Harvey on the operational and financial aspects of the company will hopefully allow me to help advance Miramax's position in the ever-changing world marketplace," said Sands. "The company's mandate is to maximize the product's value throughout all media, while operating in the most effective manner possible. I look forward to the challenge of this great opportunity."
Sands joined Miramax in 1990 from Columbia Pictures as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He was instrumental in the negotiations that saw Miramax acquired by Walt Disney Studios. He left Miramax in 1993 to become executive vice president and chief financial officer for RHI Entertainnment, where he engineered the sale of the company to Hallmark Entertainment. He returned to Miramax in 1994, taking over from Ian Jessel as the head of Miramax's international sales division and in 1997 became chairman of worldwide distribution.

His most recent achievement was the start of a joint venture distribution company with TF1 in France called TF/M, which was unveiled at Cannes this year.