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STX Entertainment Promotes John Friedberg to Head International Division

Friedberg takes over for David Kosse, who moved to Netflix

STX Entertainment announced on Monday that it has promoted John Friedberg to lead the international division for STXfilms.

Friedberg previously served as president of international sales of STXfilms since 2015. In his new role, Friedberg will oversee the company’s international film strategy, including leading STX’s worldwide acquisitions efforts, building on producer and filmmaker relationships to increase the volume of acquired films, as well as running the direct theatrical distribution business in the UK and Ireland.

Friedberg will also maintain oversight over the company’s international sales operations including its extensive network of international output arrangements.

“I am tremendously excited to continue my long-standing relationship with Bob Simonds, Adam Fogelson, Tom McGrath and the STX team in my new role leading the international division of STXfilms,” Friedberg said in a statement. “I’m also excited to expand my mandate in leading the UK distribution business here in London, where we have an incredible team of executives, and a slate of exciting, commercial films. I have immense respect for David Kosse and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”

Friedberg will report to STX chief operating officer Thomas McGrath and will be based out of the company’s London office, which will continue to serve as headquarters for international sales and marketing, as well as the UK theatrical distribution business. David Kosse who was recruited to launch STX’s international film division in 2016, left the company to lead the new international division at Netflix.

The shuffle comes as STX tries to extend its growth internationally following a lapsed IPO in Hong Kong last year.

“The international business has never enjoyed a more dynamic period with the dramatic growth of the Chinese and Asian markets, the tremendous expansion of the Gulf Region and the opening of Saudi Arabia,” STX chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said in a statement. “John is an incredibly adept executive and we will rely on his demonstrated international expertise to build on our promise to develop, market and distribute star-driven content on a global scale.”

The company said it will have additional announcements concerning its international expansion in the coming weeks.

Friedberg was among STX’s first hires in 2015 and was responsible for helping to build the company’s extensive network of international distribution partners in more than 150 territories worldwide. During his tenure at STX, he lead the international acquisition and distribution of titles including “All the Money in the World,” “Den of Thieves,” “Peppermint,” as well as upcoming titles “Greenland,” “Horizon Line,” “The Marsh King’s Daughter” and “The Friend,” among others.

Prior to joining STX, Friedberg spent a decade leading sales and distribution for QED International, where he developed financing and global distribution strategies for films such as David Ayer’s Fury, Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9” and the Robert De Niro-Zac Efron comedy “Dirty Grandpa,” among others.

“John has tremendous knowledge of the international market and an incredible eye for globally commercial content, and we are delighted to have him lead STX’s international film division, which he and David have grown into a full-service international distribution company,” McGrath said in a statement. “The international business has become increasingly critical in the film landscape ever since I was chairman of UIP while at Paramount. Today, the international environment is even more complex with the rise of different streaming services and various OTT platforms, and in John, we have a seasoned executive who is extremely well suited to navigate these opportunities for STX.”

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