Contender Films puts 15m media account up for pitch

Film distributor Contender Films, the newly expanded theatrical arm of DVD distributor Contender Entertainment Group, has putits £15m media account upfor pitch.

It is understood to have started talks with a number of agencies, although it is not clear if it has an incumbent.

Contender was founded in 1995 and is one of the UK’s fastest-growing media businesses. It is owned by independent entertainment business Entertainment One, which acquired it last year in a deal worth almost £50m.

Among the titles distributed by Contender Filmsthis year is Nick Broom-field’s acclaimed documentary about the occupation of Iraq, Battle for Haditha. It has also signed a deal to distribute films produced by Summit Entertainment.

The firm has recently secured UK rights for Bernard Rose’s forthcoming film Mr Nice, based on the autobiography of drug dealer Howard Marks, starring Welsh actor Rhys Ifans in the lead role.

Contender Films is headed by Alex Hamilton who joined the company in March. He reports to Richard Bridgewood, managing director of Contender Entertainment Group. Most recently, Hamilton served as president of Icon Film Distribution, and before that as director of sales and business development at Momentum Pictures.

Other companies in the Contender Entertainment Group include TV production, licensing and merchandising arm Rubber Duck Entertainment and an in-house licensing and merchandising operation.

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