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Launch of German company augenschein Filmproduktion’s sales and financing arm headed by Jonathan Saubach

augenschein Filmproduktion, Germany’s independent film production company, has expanded its core operations with the launch of augenschein Sales, an in-house worldwide sales and financing arm headed by well-respected executive Jonathan Saubach. The new division will focus on combining the financing for the company’s production slate through access to equity, market pre-sales and film funds. This convergence of production, financing and sales under one roof will allow augenschein to retain creative and financial control over their projects to form a fully-fledged independent film production company dedicated to producing movies with a signature style and strong director voices.


Saubach has been tapped as Head of Sales, bringing in a wide market view following his robust track record in senior sales, acquisitions and content executive roles for Telepool Gmbh, the German licensing, production and distribution company owned by American actor/producer Will Smith and Swiss investor Elysian Fields. In this new role, Saubach will be in charge of financing, packaging and worldwide sales of its film titles and will also serve as an executive producer on augenschein’s upcoming productions.


Reporting to augenschein Filmproduktion founders Maximilian Leo and Jonas Katzenstein, Saubach will champion the company’s access to equity financing, market pre-sales and continue to use his expertise to navigate the German and European funding entities, many of whom have established relationships with augenschein. In his sales capacity, Saubach will represent the slate of high-quality director-driven projects produced by augenschein for the global marketplace, with a focus on English-language content produced from Germany.


Leo commented, “The launch of our own financing and sales arm is the logical next step for us to continue to produce superb auteur films with worldwide appeal from Germany. Under this expansion, we will maintain creative and financial control over our films so we can make bold, edgy choices working with new and established filmmakers such as Patrick Vollrath, Franka Potente, Jan-Ole Gerster, Lars Kraume and Wolfgang Fischer.”


Katzenstein continued, “The timing to expand our activities also seemed ideal given the spotlight on our premium content and movies such as 7500, Home and Stowaway. This opportunity has opened the door to strengthening the core of our distinctive brand. We are thrilled that Jonathan is joining our team and bringing his expertise, great instincts with a seasoned perspective as we extend our reach into the global sales arena.”    


Saubach added, “I have admired the exceptional work of Jonas and Max since they started producing their own films. In Germany they are the best option to make quality films that can impact the global market because they recognize that controlling your own sales and financing is integral to producing stand out movies. The launch of augenschein Sales reflects their commitment to producing high-quality content and building their reach with a world-class sales operation. I am delighted to join augenschein and help realise their vision – we are so aligned on the way forward and it’s such an exciting time for European production given the tremendous opportunity for companies with taste and proven ability.”


Prior to joining augenschein, Saubach worked for nearly ten years for Telepool Gmbh, a major European player in theatrical and multi-platform distribution. In his various sales and acquisition roles, he was in charge of acquiring product for German-speaking Europe and sales within the territory. Acquired titles during that time include Sierra / Affinity’s Drive starring Ryan Gosling, FilmNation’s The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Millennium Media’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman, the Has Fallen franchise starring Gerard Butler, also from Millennium Media, and most recently A24’s The Green Knight starring Dev Patel and STX’s upcoming Memory starring Guy Pearce and Liam Neeson. He served as executive producer on Telepool’s local language features including Don’t. Get. Out! directed by Christian Alvart and Aron Lehmann’s The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, which was nominated for three German Film Awards. 


augenschein Filmproduktion has produced more than 25 feature length films with a focus on director-driven movies with global appeal including Ana, Mon Amour which was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlinale, Hunting Season, winner of the Venice Critic’s week, My Happy Family, which debuted in Sundance and was sold to Netflix, Los Perros which premiered in-competition at Cannes Critic’s Week and Apprentice selected for Un Certain Regard in Cannes.

With a demonstrated commitment to working with auteurs, they have championed an impressive list of talented directors who are celebrated for their unique voices and signature styles. They partnered with writer/director Patrick Vollrath on 7500 which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon Originals. The acclaimed filmmaker was nominated for an Academy Award for his short film Everything will be okay. German actress Franka Potente, best known for such films as Run Lola Run, The Bourne Identity and Blow, made her directorial debut with augenschein’s Home, starring Academy Award winner Kathy Bates. Home recently premiered at the Rome Film Festival followed by Tallinn Black Nights and San Francisco Film Festivals and will debut at the Munich Film Festival ahead of its theatrical release in Germany on July 29th. They also produced Joe Penna’s science-fiction thriller Stowaway, which will be released theatrically in Germany by Wild Bunch and has been acquired by Netflix Originals for the rest of the world.

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