Former Disney Plus and Netflix executive Matt Brodlie and ex-Sierra/Affinity president Jonathan Kier have teamed to launch Los Angeles-based Upgrade Productions. The duo will serve as co-presidents.
With backing from German powerhouse Constantin Film and a strategic partnership with Bron, Upgrade will develop and produce premium local language productions for a global audience. Upgrade is financing development of original IP with local authors, filmmakers and showrunners, including in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Japan. The outfit’s first feature film and television projects are expected to be revealed imminently.
Joining Brodlie and Kier at Upgrade are former Sierra/Affinity executive Max Kondziolka as manager of international sales and production; and Clara Bartlett as content manager after working with Brodlie at Disney Plus and Netflix.
“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,” Brodlie said. “Drawing from relationships with creative talent around the world, we are driven to bring compelling stories to the big and small screen. We already have an amazing slate in active development and are thrilled to officially launch.”
Brodlie most recently served as senior VP of international content for Disney Plus, where he led the content strategy for the company in all non-U.S. markets. Prior to that he was director of original film at Netflix where he worked on “Roma” and “Mudbound” among many other titles. He has had prior stints at Paramount and Miramax.
“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,” said Kier. “These are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage.”
Kier was president of Sierra/Affinity, where he managed the worldwide sales and distribution of films like “Spotlight,” “Whiplash” and “Drive.” Previously, he oversaw releases from The Weinstein Company and Dimension across 50 countries with titles including “The King’s Speech,” “The Reader” and “Inglourious Basterds.”
Constantin Film CEO Martin Moszkowicz 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. I and the whole Constantin Film team look very much forward to be part of this exceptional journey.”
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