U.K. Sales Banner Embankment Films Hires Ex-TF1 Executive to Lead U.S., European Biz

Free Range
"Le Week-End"

The company's slate includes Naomi Watts' "Diana" and Jim Broadbent's "Le Week-End."

LONDON -- Former TF1 high-flier Sara May has joined U.K. finance and sales banner Embankment Films to lead its European and U.S. ambitions.

May, who will split her time between Paris and Los Angeles for Embankment, will be tasked with the company's activities in European sales, co-productions and acquisitions.

May has been executive vp acquisitions and co-productions at TF1 for nearly 10 years. She previously held positions at Europacorp as head of acquisitions and M6 as program supervisor for English-language TV series.

Embankment co-founder Tim Haslam described May as becoming "a focal point" for the company in Paris and Los Angeles.

"Sara extends our reach throughout the business, primarily in the U.S. and Europe, further developing producer, agent and talent relationships, working closely with London-based acquisition and marketing executive Max Pirkis," Haslam said.

May added: "[Embankment's] business model is solid, and the lineup they've built in just two years, amid a highly competitive market, speaks for itself. They are a highly motivated team, and I'm thrilled to work with a company that is so refreshing and nimble, and which maintains a platinum standard reputation."

In the 18 months since Haslam and former Icon chief Hugo Grumbar founded Embankment, the company has assembled a slate that includes Roger Michell's Le Week-End starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan along with Oliver Hirschbiegel's Diana, starring Naomi Watts. Currently in postproduction are teen-action-sci-fi film Our Robot Overlords, starring Ben Kingsley, sub-aqua-thriller Pressure, starring Danny Huston and Matthew Goode and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken directed by Daniel Alfredson, starring Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess and Sam Worthington.

Also financed and greenlit for production next year are The Dressmaker with Kate Winslet and Mission Blacklist with Robert Pattinson.

International presales are also in place for Andy Serkis' performance-capture picture Animal Farm and Rupert Wyatt's epic Birdsong, which are both in advanced casting.