CHAIRMAN AND CEO
In 6 years, Olivier Courson developed STUDIOCANAL, building it into a European studio, the company being today one of the leaders of feature films production, acquisition and distribution, distributing directly on all media, across three main countries in Europe – France, United Kingdom and Germany – as well as in Australia and New Zealand.
Olivier Courson strongly developed STUDIOCANAL’s productions, with films including TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY adapted from John Le Carré, produced by Working Title, directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy; the Coen brothers INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIES with Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman, produced by Scott Rudin that was awarded the Jury’s Grand Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival; THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY, a Working Title production, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, directed by Hossein Amini, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac; NON-STOP, action-packed thriller reuniting UNKNOWN director Jaume Collet-Serra, producer Joel Silver, and actor Liam Neeson, and also starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery and PADDINGTON, produced by Harry Potter’s producer David Heyman, based on the famous, and hugely popular, bear in the duffle coat loved by families worldwide, starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville; SHAUN THE SHEEP in partnership with Aardman Animations, bringing one of their most popular animated characters to the big screen.
In 2012, Olivier Courson did a strategic move for STUDIOCANAL, in TV business by taking a majority stake in Tandem Communications (WORLD WITHOUT END, THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, CROSSING LINES). And in December 2013 he expanded STUDIOCANAL’s ambitions in TV, investing in UK’s RED Production Company, one of the leading independent company with the objective of becoming a European leader in content.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & CFO
Romain Bessi is graduated from Sup de Co Reims. He worked two years for the auditing firm Ernst & Young and joined the CANAL+ GROUP in 1997 as a management controller for the premium channel. He was appointed Financial Director of SPORT+ (in charge of international negotiations for sports rights) in 1999. In 2000 he became the Financial Director of CANAL+ Nordic (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) and then CEO.
Two years later, in 2002, he was appointed Financial Director of CANAL+ SA in Paris, and in 2005 Financial Director of the CANAL+ GROUP edition. Romain Bessi has been EVP STRATEGY, FINANCE & TECHNICAL at STUDIOCANAL since 2007. In March 2014, his job description stretched to encompass supervision over STUDIOCANAL operations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and integration and development in the TV series production and distribution business, following the acquisitions of Tandem in Germany and RED in England.
EVP INTERNATIONAL MARKETING, DISTRIBUTION & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Graduated from the prestigious French HEC and Sciences Po schools, Matthieu Zeller joined STUDIOCANAL in January 2012 as Executive Vice-President in charge of Strategic Marketing as well as French and International Distribution of STUDIOCANAL.Since March 2014, he has been supervising the International Marketing, International Distribution and the International business development activities
Before that Matthieu Zeller made his entire career at L’Oréal. He successively occupied key positions within the Marketing for the Club des créateurs de beauté, then in the luxury goods division. In 2006 he was appointed CEO of l’Affaire Beauté (Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Shu Uemura, Kiehl’s) and in 2008 he was appointed Executive Vice-President of Lancôme International.
Rodolphe Buet was appointed CEO of STUDIOCANAL Germany on January 1st, 2012.
Before that, from January 1st ,2009, until January 12th, 2012, he was Executive Vice-President in charge of the International Distribution and Business Development. Before joining STUDIOCANAL in January 2005 as Sales and Marketing Director, Rodolphe Buet devoted an important part of his career to the music industry (WARNER, EMI, BMG and FNAC).
CEO UNITED KINGDOM
Danny joined Optimum Releasing (now STUDIOCANAL) at the inception of the company in May 1999, taking on responsibility for the positioning and promotion of all titles. As the new company developed and grew, his role was extended to include management and development of the company, and he was named CEO on September 1st 2010. He has overseen the release of over 250 titles theatrically and 1000 titles in Home Entertainment, including critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles, such as FAHRENHEIT 9/11, PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE HURT LOCKER, THIS IS ENGLAND and FOUR LIONS, as well as an impressive slate of productions including Rowan Joffe’s BRIGHTON ROCK, Joe Cornish’s ATTACK THE BLOCK and Nick Murphy’s THE AWAKENING.
Danny is a regular lecturer at both the National Film and Television School and the UK Film Council, and has represented the company at events at the London School of Economics, London Film Festival and the BritDoc festival among others.
PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR FOR FRANCE
After earning her postgraduate degree in audiovisual communication legislation and administration (Sorbonne, Paris I) in 1995, Géraldine Gendre started her career at M6 Vidéo, worked on feature-film production for 3 years, moved to M6’s cinema subsidiary as Artistic Advisor in 1999, was and promoted to Deputy Director at that subsidiary in 2005. She joined STUDIOCANAL in March 2012 as Production Director for France, and has been supervising all production and distribution activities France-wide since March 2014.
CEO AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Robert Slaviero (Slav as he is known in the industry) started in the film industry in 1978 as a despatch clerk at UIP. Since then he has worked as National Sales Manager for Hoyts/Fox/Columbia Tri-Star joint venture, assisted with the setup of PolyGram Films Australia, and was Managing Director of Twentieth Century Fox Films Australia where he oversaw the release of films such as MOULIN ROUGE, TITANIC and THE FULL MONTY. In October 2001 Slav joined Hoyts Distribution as the CEO of the company. Under Slav’s leadership Hoyts Distribution has become one of Australia & New Zealand’s leading independent film distribution companies, boasting a film library that contains over 140 titles including four films from the highly successful SAW series and all of the films from the enormously popular TWILIGHT franchise. Slav has also been President of the Australian Independents Distributor’s Association since 2009.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION AND ACQUISITIONS
Ron Halpern oversees the international productions and acquisitions for STUDIOCANAL. Current productions include I GIVE IT A YEAR starring Rose Byrne and Simon Baker and written and directed by Dan Mazer; THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY written and directed by Hossein Amini and starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac; NON STOP directed by Jaume-Collet Serra and starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore and SERENA directed by Susanne Bier, Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Previous productions included Batfa winning and Academy Award nominated TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, as well as THE TOURIST with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, THE LAST EXORCISM and CHLOE. STUDIOCANAL also co-produced Collet Serra's UNKNOWN starring Liam Neeson.
Ron also oversees the theatrical adaptations and productions of STUDIOCANAL, notably THE PRODUCERS by Mel Brooks, THE GRADUATE and THE LADYKILLERS.
Before joining STUDIOCANAL in 1996, Ron worked for CBS SPORTS.
He holds a BA and a MBA from Columbia University.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS
Responsible for the business affairs of STUDIOCANAL Image, she took over the legal and business affairs of STUDICANAL in 2003; it groups together all the distribution and co-production business of new films and the catalogue.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT COMMUNICATION, PR, FESTIVALS & MARKETS
In 2005 Sophie Kopaczynski joined the CANAL+ GROUP, where she held the position of Chief of the President’s Cabinet. In parallel with this function, she managed public relations for the Group from 2006 to 2010.
Sophie holds a master’s degree in Culture’s Economy and Communication and is graduated from the EPSCI School (ESSEC business schools group). She was assigned several missions within the French Government, notably at the Ministry for Culture and Communication (1996-1998) where she worked on the national celebration of the 20th anniversary of André Malraux’s death, the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
From 1999 to 2001 Sophie Kopaczynski was in charge of partnerships and public relations for the Francofolies de la Rochelle (a French music Festival).
In 2002 she was in charge of communications within the Lucien Barrière Group.
From 2003 until 2005 she was responsible for communications at the Centre National de la Chanson, des Variétés et du Jazz (= national centre for song, variety and jazz music).
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT HUMAN RESOURCES
Valerie joined the Caisse d’Epargne Group in 2002 and became responsible for the human resources of a subsidiary and supported the integration of new activities. In 2006 she joined the HR Corporate Division. There she held several key positions in the field of HR development, including Recruitment and Talent Management. When Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne merged, she became Deputy Director of Senior Executives’ Development and Management. In this position, she was responsible for designing the detection and training processes for the future Senior Executives, as well as for the BPCE Diversity Program.
Valérie Languille joined STUDIOCANAL in March 2011.