See-Saw promotes Simon Gillis to COO, film division

Simon Gillis.

Simon Gillis. 

See-Saw Films has promoted Simon Gillis to the newly created position of chief operating officer of the company’s film division.

Based in London, Gillis will continue to report directly to joint managing directors Emile Sherman and Iain Canning. Having most recently served as See-Saw’s head of commercial affairs, Gillis will now oversee the film division’s day-to-day operations across its London, Sydney and LA offices, including production finance and strategy, business development, legal and business affairs.

He will work with heads of production Nicky Earnshaw (UK), Libby Sharpe (Australia), and head of development, Katherine Bridle. See-Saw’s TV division will continue to be co-run by its COO, Hakan Kousetta and head of TV, Jamie Laurenson.

Gillis will be responsible for sourcing and structuring the financing, sales and distribution for See-Saw’s feature film slate, as well as exploring new lines of business. He will also serve as executive producer on See-Saw’s upcoming film slate which includes writer/director Francis Lee’s Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, which starts shooting in March.

The announcement comes as See-Saw also looks to expand its US slate, championed at a local level by LA based vice president of creative Affairs, Negin Salmasi, which includes the recently acquired sci-fi thriller N, penned by Javier Gullón, for which Gillis brokered the deal alongside New Regency’s Eric Roth.

Gillis joined See-Saw in 2016 from Universal Pictures, where he was vice president of acquisitions and production, business and legal affairs. While at See-Saw, he has helped to negotiate the company’s three-year, first-look deal with New Regency, and packaged the financing on Chris Morris’  The Day Shall Come, which will premiere at SXSW in March. Gillis will be co-repping sales on behalf of Cross City Films alongside FilmNation.

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman said, “Simon has proven himself as not only a first rate deal maker and strategist, but as a linchpin binding the entire film division’s activities. Most importantly, he shares our values and our focus in supporting the most talented filmmakers to tell stories of meaning and resonance.”

Gillis added: “I am thrilled to step up into this expanded role at such an exciting time for See-Saw. With critical and box office successes over the last decade and dedicated teams in London, Sydney and LA, we are well-placed to embrace opportunities in a fast-moving global marketplace. Working closely with the acclaimed filmmakers who choose to make See-Saw their home is an honour. Whatever the size of story or screen, together, we help share their vision with audiences worldwide.”