EXCLUSIVE: Greek production and sales house Heretic has upped its longtime head of sales and acquisitions exec Ioanna Stais to partner.
Stais, who has been with the company since 2014, has been a key driver behind Heretic’s bustling film sales slate which has included Berlin Golden Bear winner Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn from director Radu Jude, and Omar El Zohairy’s Feathers, which won Cannes Critics’ week in 2021. In 2019, the company handled world sales for Retablo, Peru’s official submission for the International Oscar, which was also nominated for a BAFTA Outstanding Debut Award and Best International Film for the Film Independent Spirit Award.
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The company recently boarded world sales rights for Jude’s latest project, Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World, as well as Sundance doc And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine, which it sold widely.
“Having joined the company almost from its very founding, I couldn’t be prouder for what we’ve achieved in these past nine years,” said Stais. “There’s something very rewarding when you manage to evolve together with people you cherish and share a common vision with. I couldn’t be happier to continue shaping Heretic’s identity and creative pursuits as we continue to grow in so many and exciting ways, aiming to establish Heretic as a globally recognizable production, financing and international sales entity.”
Heretic co-founders Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovrakis added: “We are extremely happy to be welcoming Ioanna in the ownership of the company. She has been a huge part of what Heretic is and stands for. We are living in exciting and interesting times in the global audio-visual sector and our strategic decision, at the turn of our first decade as a company, is to strengthen the ties between our production and sales arms in a more organic way. This made it a natural choice to have in the company’s management the knowledge, network and expertise Ioanna brings.”
Heretic has been ramping up its production slate across the last few years, notably serving as a major co-producer of Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner and Oscar contender Triangle of Sadness. It also produced Willem Dafoe starrer Inside, which Focus Features released domestically last weekend to a $510,000 debut across 357 locations.
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