StudioCanal makes senior appointments

Hires three at distribution subsidiaries Kinowelt, Optimum

COLOGNE, Germany -- French production and distribution company StudioCanal is filling out the ranks in its European operations with three senior appointments to distribution subsidiaries Kinowelt in Germany and Optimum Releasing in the U.K.

Kalle Friz, head of Fox Searchlight and local co-productions/acquisitions for 20th Century Fox in Germany, takes the reins as new head of theatrical distribution at Kinowelt, reporting to Kinowelt CEO Jan-Pelgrom de Haas.

John Trafford-Owen, a sales director at Paramount in the U.K., takes over as Optimum's head of theatrical, reporting to COO Danny Perkins.

There Trafford-Owen is joined by Robb Smith, who moves from his senior vp position at MGM Television Europe to head U.K. TV sales for Optimum, reporting to Perkins and international distribution executive vp Rodolphe Buet.

StudioCanal CEO Oliver Courson called the appointments a key step "toward strengthening StudioCanal's leadership position as the only European company capable of distributing all media at the source in the three largest markets."