Lions Gate Entertainment Toronto has restructured its international operations to reflect continued growth of its feature film and television businesses with Nicolas Meyer, president of Lions Gate International, solely overseeing the international division of Lions Gate Ent. with two newly created executive positions that will report directly to him.
International sales veteran Stephanie Denton has been named president of film sales for Lions Gate Films International, heading up theatrical sales for the division, and Craig Cegielski, vp, programming & sales for Lions Gate International Television, will handle the expanding television slate. Meyer will continue to oversee sales, marketing, distribution, finance and co-production of the company's growing slate of feature films, television programming and its vast library.
Sergei Yershov, former co-president of Lions Gate Films International, is leaving the company to pursue other interests.
Denton, who will report directly to Meyer, was president of distribution at Initial Entertainment, where she handled both major studio and independent features, including THE AVIATOR, LAWS OF ATTRACTION, THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE and Lasse Halstrom's AN UNFINISHED LIFE.
"We are delighted to welcome Stephanie to our division at a key time in our growth, Meyer said. Her industry knowledge and global relationships with both distributors and A-list talent are second to none. As Lions Gate International continues to provide award-winning motion pictures to the international marketplace, Stephanie's new role will be integral in our developing new partnerships."
Denton, a 17-year vet in the international film distribution business, also had been president of Lakeshore International, overseeing all aspects of the company's international operations including executive management, distribution, marketing and sales. Denton joined the company in 1996, and played a key role in the formation of Lakeshore International's distribution operations handling such titles as UNDERWORLD, THE GIFT, RUNAWAY BRIDE and ARLINGTON ROAD. Prior to that, she was director of international sales at Trans Atlantic Entertainment.
Cegielski's role as vp, programming & sales for Lions Gate International Television, was created in response to Lions Gate's growing slate of television programming. Cegielski oversees the international television department, focusing on the distribution of original Lions Gate series such as WEEDS, which will premiere on Showtime, August 10; WILDFIRE, which will premiere in late June on ABC Family; long-form projects such as FRANKENSTEIN, broadcast on USA Network and the Lions Gate library, which includes some of the top-selling titles in the world such as DIRTY DANCING and RESERVOIR DOGS.
Cegielski had been director of international production & development at CBS/King World International Television. Prior to CBS, Craig worked for Paramount International Television specializing in international co-productions as well as international sales strategies.
The Lions Gate Films International 2005 release schedule includes SAW 2, the next film in Lions Gate's highly successful SAW franchise; FIERCE PEOPLE, a drama starring Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland; Werner Herzog's award-winning documentary, GRIZZLY MAN; HARD CANDY, the directorial debut of British commercial director David Slade starring Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page; and RIZE, the revolutionary dance documentary from renowned photographer David LaChapelle. Building on its success in the J-HORROR series, the company is in pre-production on the third feature which will be directed by Takashi Shimizu, director of the record-breaking U.S. box-office hit horror feature, THE GRUDGE.
Also slated for release in 2005 is Rob Zombie's DEVIL'S REJECTS, in addition to the horror features ISOLATION and the recent acquisition SKINWALKERS. CATACOMBS, the second feature from the producers of SAW, is in post-production starring Shannyn Sossamon and Alecia Moore (aka PINK). The division also launched the Dean Devlin project FLYBOYS to buyers at the recent Cannes Film Festival, starring Jean Reno, James Franco and Martin Henderson.
Lions Gate International has amassed an impressive and diverse slate of films and awards, including three Academy Awards nominations for the critically acclaimed HOTEL RWANDA, which Meyer co-exec produced.
Lions Gate Entertainment (www.lgf.com) is a leading independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, home entertainment, family entertainment, television programming and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is one of the largest in the entertainment industry.