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Constantin Film backs Matt Brodlie, Jonathan Kier’s start-up Upgrade Productions

Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier, formerly at film distributor Sierra/Affinity and US media giant Disney respectively, have partnered to launch prodco Upgrade Productions.

Matt Brodlie

The LA-based outfit is backed financially by German production company Constantin Film and a strategic partnership with Canada-headquartered Bron.

Upgrade, which will be led by co-presidents Brodlie and Kier, says it intends to “capitalise on the booming demand for local-language content worldwide.”

The company is in development with creators and production companies in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Japan and is financing development of original IP with local authors, filmmakers and showrunners. Its first TV and film projects will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Upgrade.

Most recently Brodlie was the senior VP of international at Disney+, where he oversaw the content strategy for the streaming service in all markets outside the US and developed a slate of scripted and unscripted series and films globally. He joined Disney from Netflix, where he was the director of international film.

Kier comes to Upgrade after more than a decade with film finance, production and foreign sales company Sierra/Affinity, most recently serving as president. Before that he was executive VP, international sales and distribution at the Weinstein Company.

Brodlie and Kier have also enlisted Max Kondziolka, who joins Upgrade as manager of international sales and production, and Clara Bartlett, who has been appointed as content manager. Further appointments will be made in due course.

Jonathan Kier

“There has been a profound shift in the viewing habits around the globe that has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for foreign-language films and series. Drawing from relationships with creative talent around the world, we are driven to bring compelling stories to the big and small screen,” said Brodlie in a statement.

Kier added: “It’s equally exciting to be working with Constantin Film, Bron and distributors that we have worked with from around the world as they expand into the content production space to provide the series and feature films that audiences are waiting for. These are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage.”

Munich-headquartered Constantin is one of Germany’s most prolific and successful studios. Its recent TV credits include Shadowhunters (ABC), Perfume (ZDFneo) and Black Beauty (Disney+).

Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film’s CEO, said: “Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier are synonymous with success and style and under their leadership Upgrade Productions will be an immense source of pride for us all. Our efforts to bring top-quality productions to the audiences of the world has reached a new level.”

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