London, UK—Mar 30, 2009
Arts Alliance Media Announces Operations Expansion
And New Appointments
Fiona Deans promoted to Chief Operating Officer
Arts Alliance Media (AAM), Europe’s leading digital cinema provider, has announced key executive appointments and the restructuring and expansion of its operations team to enable the company to meet the growing demand for its services, spanning digital cinema and satellite deployment, digital content processing and alternative content business areas. Fiona Deans has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, responsible for digital cinema operations, digital content processing, alternative content business development, legal affairs and human resources. The new appointments are Keith Deane as Vice President, Operations, Elizabeth Draper as Vice President, Business Development and Esther Stringham as Legal Counsel. The changes are effective immediately.
In making the announcement, AAM’s Chief Executive Officer, Howard Kiedaisch said, “It is an extremely exciting time for digital cinema conversion, and AAM is at the centre of it. We’re ramping up to meet the accelerating demand from the marketplace and provide the highest quality service to our exhibition, distribution and content owner customers across Europe.”
Kiedaisch continued, “It is with great pleasure that I announce Fiona’s promotion to Chief Operating Officer. Fiona has been with AAM since it started and has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today – the number one digital cinema company in Europe. Her role managing the rollout of the $20m UKFC Digital Screen Network and the ongoing relationships with our distribution, manufacturing and exhibition partners has been invaluable.”
Prior to this promotion, Fiona Deans was Senior Vice President, Content and Distributor Services. She joined AAM in September 2002 and has been responsible for the growth and operations of Arts Alliance Media’s digital cinema business in the UK and Europe. After heading up the successful rollout and operation of the UK Film Council’s Digital Screen Network, the world’s first 2K digital cinema network, Fiona negotiated the first pan-European digital cinema deals with 5 Hollywood studios. She joined AAM from Atom Shockwave, where she was Director of Business Development for Europe. Previously she held strategy positions at BBC online and at Bertelsmann’s online subsidiary, bol.com. Prior to that, she worked for Mercer Management Consulting in their London and New York offices, focusing on telecommunications projects. Fiona has a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Keith Deane joins AAM as Vice President, Operations, with 27 years of technical operational experience in Networking, Systems Integration, IT and Telecommunications at companies such as Motorola Information Systems, Redstone Communications, Devoteam auSystems and Crane Telecommunications. Keith will manage the company’s engineering team in the UK and support AAM’s local integration partners Europe-wide. He will report to Fiona Deans.
With Keith Deane’s appointment, Rich Phillips, Vice President, Engineering, can now focus on digital cinema research and development, equipment sourcing and evaluation and providing the best solutions for AAM’s cinema and content partners.
Elizabeth Draper, appointed Vice President, Business Development, has been working with AAM as a consultant over the last 18 months, on the marketing and distribution of AAM’s alternative content cinema release slate, ranging from The Royal Opera House/Opus Arte performances to Iron Maiden’s upcoming feature documentary, IRON MAIDEN: FLIGHT 666. Going forward, Elizabeth will focus on expanding the company’s alternative content business, building relationships with content owners and exhibitors and widening the reach of AAM’s content delivery network. She will report to Fiona Deans. Elizabeth has worked in distribution for the last 25 years, most recently as Head of Fox Searchlight UK. Prior to that, she was General Manager of Icon Film Distribution and Deputy Managing Director at Pathe Film Distribution. Films include DELICATESSEN, BREAKING THE WAVES, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, WHALE RIDER, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and THE HISTORY BOYS.
Esther Stringham joins AAM as the company’s in-house Legal Counsel, to enable AAM to finalise agreements faster and provide legal research and support. Most recently, Estherwas a Corporate Associate at Heller Ehrman (Europe) LLP, based in London and New York. Previously, she was an associate at WilmerHale. Esther was educated in Germany, Canada and the UK, graduating from the University of Kent, with a LL.B degree, with honours, in English and German law, and a LL.M, magna cum laude, from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. She is fluent in German and English.
Arts Alliance Media has installed and is operating over 500 digital screens across Europe – in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain. AAM was the first European digital cinema provider in Europe to sign VPF deals with studios and exhibitors, and is currently engaged in discussions with distributors and exhibitors to further the rollout of digital screens across Europe. AAM is currently deploying VPF-funded digital screens in France within the CGR Cinémas circuit and also across The Netherlands in independent cinemas within the Amsterdam Booking Company. Earlier this month, AAM announced an expanded digital cinema deployment of Yelmo Cines, one of Spain’s largest exhibition chains.
AAM’s upcoming alternative content releases, to be distributed into cinemas either digitally or via satellite include Handel’s MESSIAH, the first ever live choral concert in cinemas, by the world famous Choir of Kings College, Cambridge on April 5th, Palm Sunday, the well loved ballet, TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER, from April 13th, performed by The Royal Ballet from The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and a feature documentary film about the first leg of Iron Maiden’s Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, IRON MAIDEN: FLIGHT 666, on April 21st to over 400 screens in 35 countries worldwide. Other titles to be released before the end of June 2009 include The Royal Opera House’s SWAN LAKE, ONDINE (live) and LA TRAVIATA (live).