Fred Kogel, head of Germany’s Leonine Studios, will receive this year’s Game Changer Award at the Zurich Summit in 2023
The award, presented on October 1 in the film industry section of the Zurich Film Festival, honors a leading figure in the international film industry whose “extraordinary efforts serve to advance the industry.”
Kogel certainly seems to fit the bill. A veteran of the German film and television industry, Kogel held senior corporate positions at public broadcaster ZDF, commercial network SAT.1, and leading producer/distributor Constantin Film, which he led as CEO from 2003 to 2009, before found Leonine four years ago.
Since then, backed by private equity group KKR which fueled a wave of acquisitions and expansion, Kogel has built Leonine into one of Europe’s leading independent producers and distributors with an operation covering all aspects of production and distribution. film and television.
The group’s subsidiaries include The Lives of Others producers Wiedemann & Berg (whose television division W&B Television produced the Netflix hit Dark and the German fantasy series The Gryphon for Amazon Prime), Odeon Fiction and documentary specialists Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion. Film-wise, Leonine handled the German distribution of hits like Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and the John Wick franchise and will release the highly anticipated prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in the territory in November. Internally, Leonine produced and distributed the successful franchise of German children’s films. The School of Magical Animals.
Upcoming productions include the adaptation of the bestseller The trillion dollar code for Paramount+ and Girl you know it’s trueabout the rise and scandalous fall of the German pop duo Milli Vanilli, directed by Simon Verhoeven and starring Matthias Schweighöfer (army of thieves) as Frank Farian, the Svengali-esque producer who created the lip-syncing phenomenon.
Zurich Film Festival Artistic Director Christian Jungen praised Kogel for turning Leonine “from the ground up” into a “new entertainment company for the digital age that brings together the most exciting artists and successful producers, allowing them to focus on their strengths while the studio handles services such as human resources, marketing and sales. With this professional team, they have given a new impetus to the German film and television industry by (ensuring that) German productions get the international recognition they deserve.” .
Saying he was delighted with the honour, Kogel said he shared the Game Changer Award with all Leonine employees, calling it “both a confirmation of our passion for storytelling and our energy (and also) an incentive for us to keep driving the game forward.” boundaries and shape the industry.
Past Game Changer Award winners include MGM’s Motion Picture Group president Pamela Abdy, former Lionsgate boss Patrick Wachsberger, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker and Tom Bernard.
The Zurich International Film Festival 2023 will take place from September 28 to October 1. 8.