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German film and TV studio Leonine have made a major executive appointment, naming Sebastian Heinlein, formerly of Constantin Entertainment, to its SEO Entertainment division as head of development and creative director. He takes over at the new position on April 1, 2021.
In addition to his role at SEO Entertainment, Heinlein will work in the creation and development of non-fiction, entertainment, and show formats for other Leonine-owned production companies, and will adapt international formats for the German-speaking market. He will report to Gillad Osterer, Managing Director of SEO Entertainment, and to Nina Etspüler, Head of Entertainment Development at Leonine Studios.
A veteran non-fiction producer, Heinlein’s credits include executive producing the hit entertainment show Catch! for German network Sat.1, and the late-night show Circus Halligalli for Pro7, both winners of the Grimme Prize, Germany’s equivalent of the Emmy.
“With SEO Entertainment and Sebastian Heinlein we have established a perfect starting point for further sustainable growth in the non-fiction production sector,” Leonine CEO Fred Kogel said in a statement.
Leonine acquired Munich-based SEO Entertainment in January. The company is known for its light-entertainment and non-fiction formats, including the standup comedy series Your Life Is A Joke on Netflix and the documentary series Feuer und Flame.
Fast-growing Leonine, launched in 2019 with backing from its owners, New York investment firm KKR, has quickly become a major European player by gobbling up independent production outfits, including Tele München Group, indie film distributor Universum, Dark producer Wiedemann & Berg, and production groups i&u TV, Odeon, and SEO Entertainment.
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