U.K. Sales and Finance Banner Intandem Appoints New CEO

K-11 Film Still Turin Film Festival - H 2012

K-11 Film Still Turin Film Festival - H 2012

The banner elevates former Disney U.K. chief Robert Mitchell as founder and CEO Gary Smith exits.

LONDON – Financing and distribution group Intandem Films chief executive and founder Gary Smith is exiting the company amid a top-tier management shakeup and a change in corporate direction.

Smith will be replaced at the top by former Walt Disney high-flier Robert Mitchell, who first arrived at Intandem in 2011 as a non-executive director.

The company -- whose sales slate includes Jules Stewart's L.A. county jail drama K-11, actress Kristen Stewart's mother's debut, which was unveiled to buyers during the Marche du Film in Cannes last year -- will focus on its financing and sales activities.

Smith steps down from the Intandem board with plans to executive produce movies and pursue new opportunities outside the film industry.

Currently dividing his year between L.A. and London, Smith told The Hollywood Reporter he is also looking at social-media opportunities.

Mitchell, who spent 17 years working at Walt Disney and was Walt Disney U.K. managing director when he departed the company, arrived at Intandem to head up the banner's U.K. distribution business.

Intandem said Tuesday it will continue to consider U.K. distribution opportunities, "but these can typically be capital intensive in nature."

In a statement to the market, the company made it clear that under Mitchell's watch, in the "short to medium term" it will "only commit to U.K. distribution engagements where it is possible to partner with a second U.K. distributor in order to reduce the commitment of the Company’s own resources."

The move to all but pull out of British distribution is "consistent with the Company’s policies of managing the risk associated with the film industry, and not investing in the production of films from its own resources," according to the statement.

John James, non-executive director, said Mitchell has brought "significant skills and experience" to the company since arriving in 2011 and his appointment as CEO "offers an excellent opportunity for Intandem’s future growth."

James also thanked Smith for his tenure with Intandem.

Intandem said it had inked a slew of deal memos during the European Film Market in Berlin earlier this month, including titles Believe (formerly known as Theater of Dreams) and The Laureate. Production of 10 Things I Hate About Life, starring Evan Rachel Wood, is delayed but expected to resume in the second half of 2013.

The company expects to release its interim results for the six-month period ending Dec. 31, 2012, in March.