In what will be welcome news for the UK sector, former Lionsgate UK & Europe CEO and Marv Studios Group CEO Zygi Kamasa is launching a new UK theatrical distributor called True Brit Entertainment, which will focus exclusively on British feature films and TV.
Funding for the new venture was led by talent management and entertainment company Three Six Zero, which reps talent including Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs, Will Smith, Marcus Rashford, Kid Cudi and others. The investment marks an expansion of the music-oriented company into the film and TV arena.
True Brit Entertainment is due to ramp up a theatrical team in 2024 but will start investing and acquiring UK rights to projects immediately, it says. It will fund P&A and has an ambition to release all films theatrically. The company has set a target to invest and release between four to eight British films annually and Kamasa’s ambition is to co-finance more than $50M worth of productions each year.
Kamasa, who recently has served as Group CEO of Matthew Vaughn’s Marv Studios, will step down as CEO of Marv to spearhead the growth of True Brit Entertainment. Marv will be a small shareholder in True Brit Entertainment having backed the development of the new business.
Kamasa has previously worked on the releases of more than 40 British titles including Bend it like Beckham, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Brooklyn, Eddie the Eagle and The Father.
He commented: “I have released over 300 films in the UK in my career, 75 of which or more have been British films and those are the films I have enjoyed the most. The British independent market has always delivered incredible stories from unique voices, and I think there is a huge opportunity for True Brit Entertainment to back many original projects and filmmakers, and I am incredibly excited by the potential.”
Mark Gillespie, CEO of Three Six Zero, added: “We have always shared a similar excitement about supporting the export of British culture to the world stage with Zygi. We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to work together with him on True Brit Entertainment. We have always wanted to find more ways of expanding our group into films and television, and intend to utilise Zygi and his new venture as the centre of that growth.”
Marv owner and filmmaker Matthew Vaughn commented: “Zygi has been a great support to the Marv group as CEO since 2020, and I’m now excited for him as he steps down to launch his new British business True Brit Entertainment. British independent films are something I want to support more of so I’m delighted to be a small shareholder in his business and hope to find new British independent films we can make together.”