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November 23, 2020 |

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Cineflix Rights CEO Chris Bonney to retire in 2021

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Chris Bonney

Cineflix Rights CEO and industry veteran Chris Bonney is to step down from the company next year, after eight years in the role.

Bonney, who joined Cineflix Media’s sales and acquisitions arm in 2012 to replace former boss Paul Heaney, is to retire mid-2021 following an extended period of transition when the company will appoint a successor.

He was previously SVP of sales & acquisitions at Warner Bros. International Television Production, and before that was MD of Outright Distribution and a board member at UK-based Shed Media.

Bonney’s Cineflix expansion

During his stint in charge at Cineflix Rights, the distributor grew into the UK’s largest indie TV content sales firm with a catalogue of more than 5,000 hours of scripted and factual content.

He increased the company’s third-party slate to almost 50% of its overall portfolio, developed financing models to help partners including Cineflix Productions, and pushed into scripted by ramping up both its English and foreign-language drama catalogue, while also partnering with producer partners including Buccaneer Media and Connect3 Media.

The distributor – which was formed in 2002 – also struck a major deal over the summer when Apple TV+ acquired its Israeli drama Tehran, while supernatural series Wynonna Earp recently sold to NBCUniversal International Networks across Europe.

The catalogue also includes Marcella, Happily Married, The Minister, and An Ordinary Woman, while factual offerings range from the Property Brothers franchise and Border Security to Food Factory, with the firm working with producers such as Windfall Films and Hoff Productions.

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‘The Long Goodbye’, not ‘Short Cuts’

Glen Salzman and Katherine Buck, co-founders and co-CEOs at Cineflix Media, said Bonney had “played a pivotal role” in positioning the company as “a global content powerhouse”.

The duo added: “Under his skillful leadership, he has assembled a phenomenal team at Cineflix Rights and has drawn up a solid blueprint for enduring momentum and success.

“Chris is very well-respected by his colleagues and peers alike, and we’re sad that he will be stepping down. However, we are grateful that he will continue to drive the company forward while we recruit his successor. And of course, Chris will always remain part of the Cineflix family,” they said.

Bonney added: “Cineflix Rights is now well placed as a distributor with a highly successful scripted business alongside its longstanding factual operations. After 35 years in the industry, it feels like the right time for me to make a move to a new phase in life, and for a new hand to take the company to its next stage.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with such a talented and friendly team over the past eight years as well as the many incredibly creative producers and broadcasters I’ve had the opportunity to deal with during my time here. I’d also like to thank Glen and Katherine for all their support over the years.

“As I’ll be around for a while yet, it’s more The Long Goodbye than Short Cuts before I head off to the golf course and experience parts of the world I’ve always wanted to visit,” he added.

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