Paul Hanson, Former Annapurna Pictures COO, Launches Covert Media

The new production/financing/distribution venture will be fully financed by Media Content Capital

Media Content Capital has partnered with veteran film executive Paul Hanson to launch Covert Media, a new independent feature production, financing and distribution company based in Los Angeles.

MCC, the global media fund led by financiers Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine, has committed to fully finance this new venture, adding Covert Media to its growing portfolio of film, television and digital media assets.

Hanson, former co-founder and COO of QED International and recent COO of Annapurna Pictures, will serve as co-founder and CEO of the new company.

With an initial mandate to produce 3-4 films per year in the $10-50 million budget range with the substantial capital backing of MCC, Covert Media will focus on high-quality, commercial content for worldwide audiences by fostering meaningful relationships with filmmakers and creative artists.

At the core of its mission, Covert seeks to be a reliable and trustworthy partner that deploys its resources and expertise to ensure each creative partner’s vision is realized and their unique voice is heard.  Over time, the company will also expand into a broader spectrum of budget sizes and into other media such as episodic content.

As it ramps up its staffing and production slate, Covert will service and support the library and upcoming projects for MCC-owned QED, including Barry Levinson’s comedy “Rock the Kasbah” starring Bill Murray; “The Family Fang,” directed by Jason Bateman, who also co-stars alongside Nicole Kidman; Andrew Renzi’s “Franny” starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning and Theo James; Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind” starring Gere; and the thriller “Strange But True,” which stars Imogen Poots, Bill Paxton and Melissa Leo.

Hanson segues to Covert Media from Annapurna Pictures, where he was COO for the past two years.  Previously, Hanson co-founded and was COO of QED, where he oversaw all aspects of the company including film financing, production and distribution activities. At QED he managed a slate of productions and sales agency projects, built the executive team, and negotiated and closed the company’s various production financing instruments with lenders and third-party equity investors. Notable projects included Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9,” Oliver Stone’s “W.,” John Turturro’s “Fading Gigolo,” David Ayer’s “Sabotage” and Richard Shepard’s “The Hunting Party.”

Hanson’s previous roles include VP and CFO of literary management company Key Creatives, production and strategy executive at Artisan Entertainment, and investment banker at Broadview International.

With Covert Media taking its name from the quiet, effective, behind-the-scenes approach that has defined his reputation, Hanson commented, “I appreciate the support of Anton, Sasha and MCC, and look forward to building this new company into a respected entertainment brand in the years ahead.”

“Paul has always been known as an extremely smart, hard-working professional who gets things done while fostering great relationships with talent,” MCC principals Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine said in a joint statement. “We’re pleased to help launch Covert Media and are excited about how Paul will shape the company down the road.”