Ex-Focus Features Head Forges New Company With Former TWC Acquisitions Chief

Courtesy of DDA PR
Alison Thompson, Mark Gooder

Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder's Cornerstone Films already has a new Hilary Swank drama under its belt, as well as the Cannes-screening Amy Winehouse doc.

Alison Thompson, the London-based film veteran who spent eight years at Focus Features heading up its international arm, has formed Cornerstone Films with Mark Gooder, the former Icon Productions CEO who most recently was president of acquisitions at The Weinstein Company.

Announced Tuesday, the new production-finance and sales company will have offices in London and Los Angeles, and is set to unveil a slate in Cannes having already introduced the Hilary Swank-starring Denial, written by David Hare, on Monday.

As part of the arrangement, Thompson will fold the slate from her own shingle Sunray – which incudes the upcoming Amy Winehouse doc Amy and Alone in Berlin, starring Emma Thompson and Daniel Bruhl – into Cornerstone. The new company has also announced ties with London-based Potboiler Films and Berlin-based X Filme, with both production companies providing up to two films a year for financing and sales through Cornerstone.

"I have long admired Alison as one of the leading specialists in film sales and I'm thrilled to be able to bring my complimentary set of skills to this new partnership," said Gooder in a statement, adding that he and Thompson shared a strong belief in the importance of "quality theatrically driven material to drive the independent film model."

Thompson said that she hoped to create a "brand new voice in the film community" with Cornerstone, and that she was "thrilled" to have teamed with Potboiler and X Filme.