Industry executives Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier have launched Upgrade Productions, with backing from Constantin Film and a strategic partnership with BRON.
Upgrade Productions is set to capitalize on the demand for local-language content worldwide as audiences become more global in their viewing habits. Using Brodlie and Kier’s deep relationships within the industry formed over years of experience, the company is actively financing the development of original IP with local authors, filmmakers and showrunners.
Brodlie most recently served as the senior VP of international content for Disney+, where he led the content strategy for the company in all non-U.S. markets. Prior to that, Brodlie was director of original film at Netflix, where he was responsible for Set It Up and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. He also acquired the films Roma, Mudbound and Klaus. He has held a number of other senior executive positions at various studios, including Paramount. Brodlie originally started his career at Miramax, where he acquired non-English films such as Hero, Amélie, City of God, Shaolin Soccer and The Barbarian Invasions.
Kier most recently served as the president of Sierra/Affinity, now part of Entertainment One and Hasbro, where he managed the sales and distribution of films such as Spotlight; I, Tonya; Atomic Blonde; Manchester by the Sea; Nightcrawler; Whiplash; Ender’s Game; Drive; and more. Prior to his role at Sierra/Affinity, Kier oversaw all aspects of The Weinstein Company and Dimension’s film releases in over 50 countries, including titles such as The King’s Speech, The Reader, Tropa de Elite, Grind House, Inglourious Basterds, Hoodwinked, Igor and Piranha 3D.
Joining Brodlie and Kier at Upgrade are Max Kondziolka, from Sierra/Affinity, as manager of international sales and production and Clara Bartlett, who worked with Brodlie at Disney+ and Netflix, as content manager.
Brodlie said: “There has been a profound shift in the viewing habits around the globe that has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for foreign language films and series. Drawing from relationships with creative talent around the world, we are driven to bring compelling stories to the big and small screen. We already have an amazing slate in active development and are thrilled to officially launch.”
Kier added: “It’s equally exciting to be working with Constantin Film, BRON and distributors that we have worked with from around the world as they expand into the content production space to provide the series and feature films that audiences are waiting for. These are exciting times for our industry and for the local creators stepping onto the global stage.”
Martin Moszkowicz, CEO of Constantin Film, said: “Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier are synonymous with success and style, and under their leadership, Upgrade Productions will be an immense source of pride for us all. Our efforts to bring top-quality productions to the audiences of the world have reached a new level. I and the whole Constantin Film team look very much forward to be part of this exceptional journey.”
Oliver Berben, deputy CEO of Constantin Film, added: “Matt and Jonathan are perhaps two of the industry’s most experienced and knowledgeable professionals working in local-language content and the international marketplace. They are at the top of their game with wonderful creative instincts, and we are looking forward to working together. Growth of local-language production for the worldwide marketplace is part of our mission statement, it is the wave of the future, and we are delighted to be part of this team.”