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Highland Film Group hires CALEB WARD as Vice President of Acquisitions

HIGHLAND FILM GROUP HIRES

CALEB WARD

As Vice President of Acquisitions

 

Anita Levian, Promoted to Head of Business and Legal Affairs

 

Todd Olsson, President of International Sales; Laura Voros, EVP of Sales;

Monique Green CFO; and Sebastien Aussal, Head of Marketing and Communications;

expand their roles as the company grows the domestic distribution division – THE AVENUE

 

As Highland Film Group enters a period of growth and expansion the company has hired Caleb Ward as Vice President of Acquisitions, with immediate effect. The company also promoted Anita Levian to Head of Business and Legal Affairs from Senior Director of Business Affairs. Key senior executives Todd Olsson, President of International Sales; Laura Voros, Executive Vice President of Sales; Monique Green, Chief Financial Officer; and Sebastien Aussal, Head of Marketing and Communications, all see their roles expand as the company bolsters and broadens its scope following the launch of their US distribution arm, The Avenue.

 

Ward will source feature film projects and oversee acquisitions and production development for the company’s worldwide sales slate reporting to Highland Film Group’s CEO Arianne Fraser and COO Delphine Perrier. Ward will also work alongside JJ Caruth, President of Domestic Marketing & Distribution, in acquiring projects for Highland Film Group’s domestic distribution label, The Avenue.

 

Ward has several years of distribution and acquisitions experience in the entertainment industry. Most recently, he was Director of Acquisitions at Freestyle Digital Media, the digital distribution unit of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, and was responsible for acquiring a slate of indie films including What We Found, Teenage Badass, Clover, and She’s in Portland. In this role, Ward oversaw acquisitions targeting theatrical releases and direct-to-VOD titles. He also ran the company’s film festival and market coverage program, which supplied commercial feature film and TV content information directly to all global digital platforms, including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Ward is the creator and Director of the Late-Night program for the Colorado-based festival SeriesFest and also served as a programmer for North Carolina’s Cucalorus Film Festival. Prior to Freestyle, Ward served as film acquisitions coordinator for The Orchard/1091 and before that as the marketing, theatrical and digital sales coordinator for Gravitas Ventures.

 

“We are proud to see Highland Film Group grow stronger with the launching of The Avenue last year. Despite the challenging times, we continue to support and believe in this industry that we all love so much. Our growth would not have been possible without our dream team. Each one of the members of our team is at the top of their games. For this reason, we could not trust in better hands the expansion of the company, which consequently broadens the scope of their roles. With the addition of Caleb, the promotion of Anita, and the expansion of the roles of Todd, Laura, Monique, and Sebastien, our ship will continue sailing at great speed,” Highland Film Group’s CEO Fraser and COO Perrier stated.

 

“I am thrilled to have Caleb join me as we discover those great independent feature films looking for the perfect home for domestic audiences. Since we launched The Avenue last year, we have seen an increase in the number of projects we can consider. With Caleb’s experience and keen eye, we are certainly set to build an impressive domestic slate packed with content that our audiences will love,” said Caruth, The Avenue’s President of Domestic Marketing & Distribution.

 

“I am enthusiastic to be joining Arianne, Delphine, JJ, and the entire Highland Film Group family on this new venture in domestic releasing in addition to culling through a wealth of talent for the best new works and storytelling available for the worldwide marketplace. My goal is to diversify the landscape of our releases and I cannot wait to, along with the Highland Film Group, discover some great new voices both domestic and abroad,” said Ward.

 

Highland Film Group has also promoted Anita Levian to Head of Business and Legal Affairs from Senior Director of Business Affairs. In her role she will oversee all day-to-day business and legal affairs for both Highland Film Group and The Avenue as well as draft and negotiate all in-house agreements including international and domestic licensing agreements, interparty agreements, collection account agreements and sales agency agreements.

 

Since the launch of the Avenue in 2020 the roles of key executives Todd Olsson, President of International Sales; Laura Voros, Executive Vice President of Sales; Monique Green, Chief Financial Officer; and Sebastien Aussal Head of Marketing and Communications have expanded to include the new responsibilities in the domestic arena.

 

Aussal’s marketing responsibilities now include both international for Highland Film Group and domestic roles for The Avenue, working very closely with JJ Caruth, President of Domestic Marketing & Distribution. He is also now overseeing communications for both companies and their film slates. Aussal and Caruth will be supported by Erik Gonzalez, who newly joins the company as Marketing Manager for both Highland Film Group and The Avenue.

 

Green is now CFO for the entire organization overseeing all the financial aspects of both companies and the synergies between them. Olsson and Voros’ deep knowledge and understanding of the domestic marketplace is now playing a key role in The Avenue’s acquisitions as the company grows its domestic distribution operations.

 

The Avenue is a North American theatrical distribution company with an agreement with Paramount Home Entertainment to handle Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital distribution. Films released under The Avenue label are a combination of selected film titles from Highland Film Group as well as third party acquisitions. The Avenue released its first film, Jiu Jitsu starring Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage, Tony Jaa and Frank Grillo, in November last year. Upcoming titles include Renny Harlin’s The Misfits, starring Pierce Borsnan, Nick Cannon, and Tim Roth, which will be theatrically released this Summer as a joint release with Paramount Pictures.

 

Highland Film Group’s diversified production and sales slate includes: Renny Harlin’s The Misfits, Edward Drake’s Gasoline Alley, starring Bruce Willis, Luke Wilson, and Devon Sawa; Herbert James Winterstern’s Supercell, starring Alec Baldwin; Renny Harlin’s Refuge; Mark Neveldine’s Panama starring Cole Hauser and Mel Gibson; Randall Emmett’s Wash Me In The River starring Robert De Niro, Jack Huston and John Malkovich; Andrew Baird’s One Way starring Colson ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ Baker, Travis Fimmel, and Kevin Bacon; and Louise Linton’s Me You Madness, starring Ed Westwick and Linton. 

 

 

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