Sales, production and finance outfit Protagonist Pictures has beefed up its marketing and sales divisions with a slew of promotions and new hires.
Janina Vilsmaier, previously with Hanway before joining Protagonist in 2020, has been promoted to senior VP sales and distribution. Former Netflix and Studiocanal executive Mounia Wissinger, who joined the company in 2018, has been upped to senior VP 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 strategize the global roll out of Protagonist titles. Wissinger will 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.
Former Arclight Films senior executive Lina Marrone, who initially joined Protagonist as maternity cover, will remain at the company, taking up the permanent position of head of sales and reporting into Vilsmaier.
Alexandra da Silva is moving back to managing first run titles in key markets including Asia, as Isabel Ivars returns to handle second run sales. Max Mepsted joins to provide additional support to the sales team. Leni Jaeger has been promoted to marketing, festivals and publicity coordinator, and Connor Day has been hired as marketing, distribution and publicity coordinator, with both reporting to Wissinger.
“The past few years have again proven how vital a role sales continue to play in the independent film finance ecosystem, especially international,” said Hamilton. “Janina’s dynamic leadership, combined with Lina’s wealth of knowledge and relationships are a potent and powerful mix. We are so happy Lina agreed to stay at Protagonist. Hugely respected throughout the industry, Mounia’s oversight and vision across marketing, publicity and festivals is a true asset. I could think of no better team of executives to both maximize the opportunities and overcome the challenges that lie ahead.”
CEO Dave Bishop added: “As Protagonist has continued its steady evolution, expanding into an independent full-service sales, finance and production company, we rely on our talented executives to achieve our goals. The new structure not only doubles down on our commitment to global sales but also allows us to keep growing the business further into new areas.”
Wissinger said: “As Protagonist Pictures expands and evolves, I am thrilled to help build this next chapter of the company. It’s a dream to work with such brilliant colleagues who are passionate, creative and supportive. I can’t wait to bring to buyers and audiences new bold and unique films.”
Protagonist is representing Sundance and Berlin titles “The Outrun,” starring Saoirse Ronan and Paapa Essiedu and “Sasquatch Sunset,” starring Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg.