Investors / Company History
The company was founded in March 1993 and was originally named Winchester with the principal objective to source, fund, build and exploit a portfolio of feature films and children's television programmes with international appeal.
In 1995, Winchester became the first film and television company to be listed and raise funds on the newly established Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s Winchester built an impressive slate of films, many of which were British films, including Shooting Fish and Last Orders (starring Michael Caine). During this period, Winchester expanded into the U.S. opening an office in Los Angeles and developing several strategic partnerships. Winchester also sealed the U.K.'s largest independent film deal securing the international distribution rights to MGM's $53M comedy entitled Heartbreakers (starring Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman).
In 2000 Winchester established a UK film distribution unit. This division quickly established a presence in the UK market, distributing films including Lantana (starring Geoffrey Rush, Barbera Hershey and Anthony La Paglia), The Man Who Sued God (starring Billy Connelly and Judy Davis) and the award winning My Summer of Love.
In July 2003, Winchester acquired Cobalt Media Capital, a film finance and sales company founded by world recognised investment bankers Alton Irby and John Muse. Cobalt brought with it rights to films such as Open Range (starring Kevin Costner and Robert Duval) and the three times Oscar nominated House of Sand and Fog (starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly).
In March 2004, Winchester was subject to a reverse takeover whereby it acquired the U.S. based ContentFilm Inc. The name of the Company was changed from Winchester to ContentFilm.
ContentFilm was founded in 2001 by John Schmidt (ex CFO of Miramax and founder of October Films) and the legendary film producer Ed Pressman (The Crow, Wall Street, Conan the Barbarian amongst over 70 credits). The film operations of ContentFilm were based in New York and Hollywood. ContentFilm also had an international sales arm, based in London, which was founded by Jamie Carmichael, ex Head of Sales of Icon Film.
The merger of Winchester, Cobalt and ContentFilm created a film organisation with a library of over 50 films, a film production capability in the U.S. and the U.K. and a film distribution capacity in the U.K.
Early in 2005, Ed Pressman resigned as Co Chief Executive and spun off the Company’s film production unit to a new company.
In July 2005, the company acquired the Fireworks Film and TV Library. By September 2005, ContentFilm now had a growing Film and TV sales and library management company with over 240 TV titles and 100 feature films.
In September 2006, ContentFilm completed the acquisition of certain assets of UAV Corporation and UAV Holdings ('UAV Assets') and Allumination FilmWorks LLC ('Allumination'). The completion of these two acquisitions meant the Company owned a significant US DVD distribution operation.
In December 2006 ContentFilm launched a new digital distribution division, Content Digital, headed up by Jonathan Ford (ex Head of Sony Digital in Europe).
In January 2008 the Company acquired the library of the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), comprising over 2,000 hours of programming in multiple genres - drama, lifestyle, documentary, arts and entertainment.
In April, 2008 the Company launched Fireworks Factual Entertainment, a new factual sales division.
In June, 2008, ContentFilm merged AFW with the U.S. operations of Peace Arch Home Entertainment, resulting in 50% ownership of new entity, Peace Arch Home Entertainment, LLC, with Berry Meyerowitz as CEO.
In February, 2009 the company launched a reality production company, Collins Avenue, in partnership with Jeff Collins.
In April 2009 the Company merged its 50% ownership in Peace Arch Home Entertainment, LLC, into North American film distributor Phase 4 Films for a minority ownership stake. This stake was sold in March 2013.
In September 2010 the Company established next generation digital production company Spirit digital media in partnership with Peter Cowley.
In March 2011, the Company changed its name to Content Media Corporation plc.
In January 2012, the Company announced a partnership with renowned feature documentary producer Alex Gibney to create a new production company called Jigsaw Productions.
In July 2012, the Company delisted from the AIM stock exchange and became a private company called Content Media Corporation Limited.
In early 2013, the Company announced a partnership with Ross Dinerstein and Kevin Iwashina to create a new film and TV production company called Preferred Film and TV.