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Ex-Kew Media exec starts sales outfit

Jonathan Ford, the former executive VP of sales at Kew Media Distribution, is launching a new sales house with backing from London-based financer Amcomri Media Group.

Jonathan Ford

Abacus Media Rights (AMR) will be led by Ford as MD and initially focus on distributing documentary features and series, non-scripted and drama series.

Amcomri, whose other entertainment investments include 101 Films, 101 International and Hollywood Classics, has provided Abacus with a “substantial funding line” to support the initial rights acquisitions.

The company has already acquired the rights to CBC’s drama series Trickster, produced by Sienna Films and Sundance Alumni creator Michelle Latimer of Streel Films.

Emmy-winning director and producer Dan Reed’s Superbug for HBO and the BBC, Channel 4’s Liberty City and Essential Media’s series Rhys Darby in Japan and This Could Go Anywher,e starring cricketers Brendon McCullum and Phil Tufnell, are all also part of its maiden slate.

Also available are documentary features People You May Know from Metrotone Media, a new entity from filmmaker Katharina Viken and disinformation expert Dr Charles Kriel; Nike’s Big Bet from producer Corey Russell (Killing Patient Zero) and Paul Kemp Productions, which uncovers the truth behind the fall of legendary coach Alberto Salazar; and My Name is Bulger from Fine Point Films in Belfast, directed by Brendan J Byrne (66 Days).

Paul McGowan, chairman of Amcomri, will sit on the board of AMR together with Ford, Amcomri director Larry Howard and 101 Films MD Andy Lyon.

AMR has also recruited Anton Romalijski as director of sales, Kew Media alum Lesley Whittock as director of marketing and acquisitions and Claire Hoskin as director of business affairs.

McGowan said: “Having fostered close producer and sales partnerships over decades, Jonathan is absolutely the right person to penetrate the international TV market with Abacus Media Rights. I am confident the company is already strongly positioned to acquire and deliver high-quality, multi-genre slates of programming, which will be made available to audiences worldwide.”

Ford added: “This is a competitive industry and I wanted to set up a company that is streamlined and innovative, an open and fully transparent organisation.

“With a respected, experienced team working alongside me, and with the backing of Amcomri, we are looking forward to working with great production companies, building strong partnerships and launching into the content market with some essential viewing.

“Our focus will not just be distribution but also working with production partners to get titles pre-sold and set up with financing.”

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