Protagonist Pictures restructures sales & marketing leadership

L-R: Janina Vilsmaier & Mounia Wissinger

London-based production, distribution and finance outfit Protagonist Pictures has reorganised its sales and marketing leadership, including expanded roles for senior execs Janina Vilsmaier and Mounia Wissinger.

Vilsmaier has been upped to SVP of sales and distribution, while Wissinger becomes SVP of global marketing and publicity. Vilsmaier will lead the sales division, overseeing both the first run and library sales activities, and work in partnership with Wissinger to strategise the global roll out of Protagonist titles. Wissinger will meanwhile head up the marketing and publicity team, including overseeing the festival strategy for Protagonist’s film slate. Both will report directly into chief commercial officer George Hamilton.

Lina Marrone, who joined Protagonist as maternity cover will now also take up the permanent position of head of sales, reporting into Vilsmaier.

Vilsmaier was previously director of sales at Hanway before joining Protagonist in 2020. Prior to joining the company in 2018, Wissinger held marketing and publicity positions within Netflix and Studiocanal International. Following a 20-year tenure at Arclight Films where she was EVP of sales, Marrone moved over to Protagonist Pictures in 2022.

“The past few years have again proven how vital a role sales continue to play in the independent film finance ecosystem, especially international,” said CCO George Hamilton. “Janina’s dynamic leadership, combined with Lina’s wealth of knowledge and relationships are a potent and powerful mix.”

Additional changes in the sales team see Alexandra da Silva moving back to managing first run titles in key markets including Asia, as Isabel Ivars returns to handle second run sales. Max Mepsted has been brought on board to provide additional support to the sales team.

On the marketing and publicity side, Leni Jaeger has been promoted to marketing, festivals and publicity co-ordinator, and new hire Connor Day will take on the role of marketing, distribution and publicity co-ordinator, with both reporting to Wissinger.

Protagonist said that the reorganisation was made to “reflect both the company’s continued commitment to sales and a stronger eye towards executive producing feature film projects both in the UK, US and internationally.”

Recent titles executive produced by Protagonist Pictures include The Outrun starring Saoirse Ronan and Paapa Essiedu. The company is also representing international rights for David and Nathan Zellner’s Sasquatch Sunset, starring Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg. The current sales slate also includes Thordur Palsson’s horror The Damned; the ensemble comedy Rumours, and Summer Camp, with Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodward and Eugene Levy.

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