LONDON - Founder Gary Smith has ankled as CEO of Intandem Films, with former Disney U.K. topper Robert Mitchell taking over the job to turn around the loss-making international sales and financing company.
said this was due to the pregnancy of star Rachel Evan Wood rather than to problems at Intandem
confirmed that Intandem
is pulling back from its plan to expand into U.K. distribution, to focus on building its core foreign sales operation under long-serving execs Andrew Brown and Billy Hurman.
"We were looking at a monthly cash burn but not enough income, though several members of the board have been working hard to get more money in," Mitchell
Mitchell joined Intandem's board in 2011 as a non-exec director, and took up an executive role last summer with a brief to spearhead the move into U.K. distribution.
But after mounting a modest release for U.S indie title "Grass Roots" last fall, Mitchell
was diverted into developing a new corporate plan for the struggling company.
That bore fruit Monday with Smith's exit.
was due to handle the U.K. release of local curry comedy "Jadoo," but Mitchell
became too busy with the corporate challenges to devote his
energies to the film, so he
relinquished the rights back to its producers.
"Because my time was taken up with re-organizing and looking at the company on behalf of the shareholders, it wasn't fair on a film I love and filmmakers I have incredible respect for," he
"Jadoo" is seeking alternative U.K. distribution, after a successful sales launch at Berlin's European Film Market earlier this month.
A company statement announcing Smith's abrupt departure said that Intandem
will continue to "consider" U.K. distribution opportunities.
It added, "Consistent with the company's policies of managing the risk associated with the film industry, and not investing in the production of films from its own resources, in the short to medium term the company will only commit to U.K. distribution engagements where it is possible to partner with a second U.K. distributor to reduce the commitment of the company's own resources."
aims to strengthen the sales business, rebalancing its predominantly U.S. slate towards British product.
"We will continue to source projects from Hollywood, but also from the U.K., which has been ignored by the company over the past 18 months," he
The emphasis, he
said, would be on quality rather scale.