Michael Weber, managingdirector of Bavaria Media and Bavaria Film International (BFI), is leaving thecompany to set up his own as-yet-unnamed world sales outfit.

Munich based sales companyBFI will now be run by two of its experienced executives: head of salesThorsten Schaumann and head of marketing Thorsten Ritter who have been with BFI since 1997 and 1999,respectively.

As from August 19, the twowill jointly take over responsibility for the management of BFI whilstcontinuing to look after their respective areas of sales and marketing. Inaddition, the new management structure will mean that they will be both workclosely together on the acquisition of new titles for the sales line-up.

Weber, who has not yetrevealed any details of his new venture, joined the Bavaria Film Group in April1996 and revitalised the feature film world sales arm through the creation ofthe "German Independents" label. This was launched at the 1997Berlinale and eventually led to the establishment of Bavaria Film Internationalwhose successes have included Beyond Silence, Run Lola Run, Good Bye, Lenin!, Head-On, and Sophie Scholl - The Final Days over the last ten years.

In 1999, he was named"Best Exporter of the Young Generation" by the MIFED organisation andwas appointed in April 2000 as themanaging director of Bavaria Media where he also served as a co-producer onsuch films as the Oscar-winning Nowhere In Africa and Michael Haneke's Cannes competition film Cache (Hidden).