Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier, two former executives with Disney+ and Sierra/Affinity respectively, on Tuesday launched a company based out of Los Angeles, Upgrade Productions.
Upgrade will have the backing of German film company Constantin film, along with a strategic partnership with BRON, and they’re launching with the goal of developing and producing local language content for a global audience.
Upgrade has already partnered with creators and authors from Eastern Europe, Latin America and Japan, among others and are actively financing development of original IP with other local filmmakers and showrunners. The company’s first feature film and television projects will be announced within the coming weeks.
Brodlie and Kier will serve as co-presidents of the company, and they’ll be joined by Max Kondziolka as manager of international sales and production, who is also coming from Sierra/Affinity, and Clara Bartlett as content manager after working with Brodlie at Disney+ and Netflix. Additional senior staffing positions will be announced soon.
“There has been a profound shift in the viewing habits around the globe that has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for foreign language films and series. Drawing from relationships with creative talent around the world, we are driven to bring compelling stories to the big and small screen. We already have an amazing slate in active development and are thrilled to officially launch,” Brodlie said.
“It’s equally exciting to be working with Constantin Film, BRON and distributors that we have worked with from around the world as they expand into the content production space to provide the series and feature films that audiences are waiting for. These are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage,” Kier added.
“Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier are synonymous with success and style and under their leadership Upgrade Productions will be an immense source of pride for us all. Our efforts to bring top quality productions to the audiences of the world has reached a new level. I and the whole Constantin Film team look very much forward to be part of this exceptional journey,” Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film’s CEO, said in a statement.
Matt Brodlie most recently served as the SVP of international content for Disney+, where he led the content strategy for the company in all non-US markets. His team built a development slate of narrative and unscripted series and films across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Prior to Disney+, Matt was director of original film at Netflix where he was responsible for some of streamer’s biggest early hits including “Set It Up” and “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” He oversaw production of action and sci-fi films such as “Rim Of The World” and “Polar,” and he also acquired and shepherded awards films “Roma,” “Mudbound” and “Klaus.”
Jonathan Kier most recently served as the president of Sierra/Affinity, where he managed the worldwide sales and distribution of films such as “Spotlight,” “I, Tonya,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Manchester by the Sea” and more. Prior to Sierra/Affinity, Kier was responsible for overseeing all aspects of The Weinstein Company and Dimension film releases in over 50 countries from the initial local theatrical releases through home video, television and digital platforms.