Former Fortissimo VP joins FTO

[Release by TM Publicity]

Tania Chambers, Chief Executive of the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO), today announced that Ashley Luke, former Senior Vice President Development and Acquisitions at Fortissimo Films, will join the FTO later this month in the new position of Director, Market Development

Ms Chambers said that Mr Luke, a specialist in international film markets, would assist the FTO to stimulate creative and business opportunities for the NSW screen industry.

“I’m thrilled that Ashley is to join the FTO. With his background in film sales, acquisition and development, he will be a great asset to the organisation and will support the implementation of several of the critical elements in our new Strategic Plan,” Ms Chambers said.

“Ashley’s role at the FTO will be expansive. As Director, Market Development he will lead the FTO’s knowledge of feature film trends, and of broader industry and marketplace developments. His appointment will be of great benefit to NSW screen practitioners in accessing markets and developing strategic partnerships.

“The FTO is committed to being responsive to the dynamic and shifting needs of an industry where user-generated content, new digital platforms and the producer offset provide substantial challenges and opportunities in the years ahead and it will be tremendous to have Ashley as part of our team to meet those challenges and capitalise on the opportunities.”

Ashley started his career at London-based sales agent Jane Balfour Films, selling documentaries by filmmakers such as Australia’s Mark Lewis and short films from the AFTRS. In 1988 he became the company’s first Feature Film Executive bringing to the company titles such as Todd Haynes’ Poison, Tom Kalin’s Swoon and the seminal feature length documentary Paris Is Burning. In 1993 he became Head of Acquisitions for Australia’s Dendy Films, acquiring films including Ken Loach’s Raining Stones and Ladybird, Ladybird and foreign language titles such as Kolya, Prisoner Of The Mountains and L’Apartement. He was also appointed as a senior consultant for Channel Four Television advising on the acquisition of feature films and continued in this role for the next six years.

Ashley joined Fortissimo where he was instrumental in acquiring Australian titles such as Japanese Story, Somersault, Home Song Stories, Look Both Ways, Unfinished Sky, Son Of A Lion and the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival selections $9.99 and Disgrace. Mr Luke acted as a creative production supervisor on many of these films as part of his role at Fortissimo.