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Highland Film Group Appoints Caleb Ward VP Acquisitions; Anita Levian Promoted to Head of Commercial and Legal Affairs – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Effective immediately, Highland Film Group hired Caleb Ward as Vice President of Acquisitions while promoting Anita Levian to Head of Commercial and Legal Affairs to Senior Director of Commercial Affairs.

In addition, a list of Highland’s top senior executives, Todd Olsson, President of International Sales; Laura Voros, Vice President of Sales; Monique Green, Chief Financial Officer; and Sébastien Aussal, Head of Marketing and Communications, all saw their roles grow as the company strengthened and expanded its reach after the launch of its American distribution subsidiary, The Avenue.

Ward will oversee feature acquisitions and production development for Highland’s global sales roster, which will report to CEO Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier. Ward will also work alongside JJ Caruth, president of home marketing and distribution, in acquiring projects for Highland Film Group’s home distribution label, The Avenue.

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Ward most recently served as Director of Acquisitions at Freestyle Digital Media, the digital distribution unit of Byron Allen Entertainment Studios, where he acquired independent films for theater and PVOD such as What We Found, Teenage Badass, Clover, and She’s in Portland. He also ran the Freestyle Film Festival and Market Coverage Program, which provided information on commercial feature films and TV content directly to all global digital platforms, including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Ward is the creator and director of the Late-Night program for the Colorado-based SeriesFest and has also been a programmer for the North Carolina Cucalorus Film Festival. Prior to Freestyle, Ward was Film Acquisitions Coordinator for The Orchard / 1091 and prior to that as Marketing, Theatrical and Digital Sales Coordinator for Gravitas Ventures.

“We are proud to see Highland Film Group grow stronger with the launch of The Avenue last year. Despite the tough times, we continue to support and believe in this industry we all love so much. Our growth would not have been possible without our dream team. Every member of our team is at their peak. For this reason, we could not trust better hands for the expansion of the company, which consequently widens the scope of their functions. With the addition of Caleb, the promotion of Anita and the expansion of the roles of Todd, Laura, Monique and Sebastien, our ship will continue to sail at high speed, ”said Fraser and Perrier of Highland.

“I am delighted that Caleb is joining me as we discover these great independent feature films in search of the perfect home for national audiences. Since we launched The Avenue last year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of projects we can consider. With Caleb’s experience and keen eye, we’re certainly set to build an impressive national slate filled with content our audiences will love, ”Caruth said.

“I am excited to join Arianne, Delphine, JJ and the entire Highland Film Group family in this new national broadcast venture, in addition to bringing together a wealth of talent for the best new work and best storytelling available for the global market. My goal is to diversify the landscape of our releases and I look forward to, along with the Highland Film Group, discovering some great new voices both at home and abroad, ”said Ward.

In Levian’s new role, she will oversee all day-to-day affairs and legal affairs for Highland Film Group and The Avenue, as well as drafting and negotiating all internal agreements, including foreign and domestic license agreements, inter-party agreements, collection account agreements. and sales agency agreements.

Since the launch of The Avenue last year, the roles of Olsson, Voros, Green and Aussal include new responsibilities in the domestic arena.

Aussal’s marketing functions now include both international roles for Highland Film Group and national roles for The Avenue, working closely with Caruth. Aussal and Caruth will be supported by Erik Gonzalez, who recently joined the company as Marketing Director for Highland Film Group and The Avenue.

Green is now CFO for the entire organization, overseeing all financial aspects of the two companies and the synergies between them. Olsson and Voros will play a key role in the acquisitions of The Avenue as the company expands its national distribution operations.

The Avenue has entered into an agreement with Paramount Home Entertainment to manage its Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and digital distribution. Avenue photos include Jiu Jitsu starring Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, Tony Jaa and Frank Grillo, and upcoming films such as Renny Harlin’s The Misfits, starring Pierce Borsnan, Nick Cannon and Tim Roth, which hits theaters this summer as a joint release with Paramount.

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