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Ealing Studios, Prescience Merge Sales Arms to Create Ealing Metro

The big name merger gives Ealing access to Prescience funds.

LONDON – Ealing Studios and U.K. movie finance house Prescience are to merge their respective international sales operations just weeks before this year’s Marche du Film gets underway in Cannes.

The joint venture, Ealing Metro, aims to bring between 10 - 15 movies to the marketplace annually and provides the fresh sales banner with some muscle on the international sales scene.

Ealing Metro will be headed up by Will Machin, a familiar face on the international movie sales circuit who currently heads up Ealing’s sales efforts.

Machin will report to Prescience managing director Tim Smith and Ealing Studios chief James Spring, both appointed joint CEOs of Ealing Metro.

Ealing Metro will have access to Prescience's film funds, including the Aegis Film Fund and the Metropolis Media EIS Fund. The outfit will also work with independent producers to help develop and finance projects that it will sell alongside Ealing Studios' productions.

The sales team will be spearheaded by Natalie Brenner, former head of sales at Ealing Studios Intl., and James Scott, former head of sales at Metropolis.

Head of Ealing Studios Barnaby Thompson and Prescience director and head of production Paul Brett will serve on the board of Ealing Metro, alongside Spring and Smith.

Ealing Metro's slate includes upcoming productions Trap for Cinderella, directed by Iain Softley, a Nina Simone biopic starring Mary J. Blige, and Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Garner thriller Better Living Through Chemistry.

Machin said: “The combined resources of our parent companies allows us to produce, finance and sell films of the highest quality giving us a unique advantage in the international film community. “

Smith added: “We have enjoyed an increasingly close working relationship with Ealing Studios over the production and worldwide distribution of five films in five years. We intend to build on those rock solid foundations with a series of exciting, prestigious and, most importantly, commercial films.”

The financier has backed five Ealing productions: Easy Virtue, St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, Dorian Gray, From Time to Time and Burke and Hare.