Hewison becomes 'Madman'


SYDNEY -- Australian independent film distributor Madman Entertainment will get a new theatrical distribution manager, with former Melbourne Film Festival and Australian Film Institute chief executive James Hewison to take the reins from April 16, Madman CEO Paul Wiegard said Wednesday.

Madman’s current distribution manager Anna McLeish will remain with the company until June 30, in a dual capacity that will involve assisting the Madman Cinema team and working on a new, yet to be announced venture.

Wiegard said that during McLeish’s four-year tenure, she was the driving force behind the growth and development of Madman’s theatrical arm, Madman Cinema, spearheading campaigns for features such as 2006 breakout hit “Kenny,” “Noise,” “Je t'aime,” “This Is England,” “Hidden” and current release “Brick Lane”. Films released by Madman Cinema in that time have grossed over AUS$20 million ($18 million) at the Australian box office.

“Hewison's energy and profile within the Australian and international film community will hold him in excellent stead to manage the success of an outstanding forthcoming slate including ‘The Counterfeiters,’ Sundance Audience award winner ‘Man on Wire,’ and Australian features docu, ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ and ‘Last Ride,’” Wiegard added.

"The upward trajectory of Madman's theatrical business has been passionately nurtured by Anna and her team. We are most delighted that James will lead the cinema team into a new era,” he said.

Wiegard, McLeish and Hewison will all be attending the Cannes Film Festival.