MarVista launches digital distribution arm
MarVista is expanding its distribution capabilities with the launch of a new division designed to license original and acquired content to leading digital platforms across cable, satellite, telco, broadband and consoles throughout North America.

"Over the past several years, we have amassed a significant catalogue of over 2,000 hours of top-notch content, and our strategic plan for the future is to accelerate our level of investment in original and acquired content," explained Fernando Szew, CEO at MarVista Entertainment. "At this juncture, the timing is right for MarVista to capitalise on opportunities in the digital space by creating an in-house division to proactively build relationships with the established and emerging digital platforms across North America, and to do this, we have made a sizeable investment in our operations and human resources."

The new MarVista Digital Entertainment (MVDE) division will be helmed by executive vice president of distribution, Vanessa Shapiro. Scott Kirkpatrick, who joined the company in 2012, will transition into the new role of director of distribution for MVDE, responsible for securing new distribution agreements and leveraging the company's existing digital clients and platform relationships in an effort to grow and manage the unit's distribution business. Prior, he served as director of sales responsible for various international territories.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Shipley will join MarVista Entertainment as manager of digital distribution for MVDE, reporting to Kirkpatrick. Shipley will manage MarVista's digital content and programming slate and promotion strategies and will also have the responsibility for identifying and acquiring titles to exploit across VOD and other digital platforms. She joins the company from Warner Bros Digital Distribution where she worked in programming and acquisitions.

MVDE's content pipeline is comprised of the company's original productions and co-productions, and third-party acquisitions, with 40 new titles in the works for 2014 that MarVista will produce, finance, co-finance or acquire. The company's original productions include over 150 movies that have been licensed to US and international channels, including Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Lifetime Television, Hallmark Channel, ION and Syfy.