Parthenon Entertainment is moving more aggressively into factual entertainment and has hired Amelia Hanibelsz (pictured) to be its first New York-based development exec, as a first step towards launching a full U.S. office.
In tandem with the move, the UK-based producer-distributor is in final negotiations to acquire the rights for a nightclub-set fact ent format called King of Clubs, which it hopes will be its first such title to roll out in America.
Talking to realscreen in La Rochelle, Parthenon chairman and CEO Carl Hall said: “It’s such a crowded, narrow market in the UK, dominated by the super-indies, but in the U.S. it’s a more level playing field.”
He added that the company would probably look to launch or invest in a U.S. production entity off the back of its first Stateside commission, admitting that moving into reality and fact ent was “something of a departure” for his firm.
“America remains one of the biggest revenue generators for us,” he said, “50% of our revenue comes from the U.S. – whatever works there works all over the world.”
Hanibelsz added that being based in New York would allow the company to react quicker to opportunities for development. “It’s so important to be on the ground in terms of casting and finding characters,” she said.
Hanibelsz has been working for Parthenon on a consultancy basis since March and joined Hall in attending Sunny Side of the Doc in France this week. Prior to joining Parthenon, she worked for six-and-a-half years as VP of development at NYC-based Pangolin Pictures, before which she worked in Singapore for six years for companies including FremantleMedia and Discovery Asia.
Hanibelsz said her first order of business would be “meeting up with a lot of development execs that I have relationships with, and also meeting up with independent producers who may want to match up with a more established company.”