Netflix Names Sasha Bühler Director of Original Film for Germany, France and Nordics

Netflix Sept. 10 named longtime European executive Sasha Bühler its new director of original film for Germany, France and the Nordics.

Bühler, who has lived in Germany for 30 years, most recently was head of acquisitions and international co-productions at Constantin Film AG in Munich. She begins her new position in December.

Bühler replaces Funa Maduka, director of international films and acquisitions, who left Netflix last month after six years.

Sasha Bühler

She reports to David Kosse, VP of international original film, in London. The unit is responsible for Netflix growing push to create localized original movies and episodic programming that plays to a global audience.

Netflix has had recent success with German movie Dark, Spanish crime drama, “La Casa De Papel” (The House of Paper or “Money Heist”), France’s “Dix Pour Cent” (“Call My Agent”), Italy’s “Gomorrah” and Brazilian series, “Coisa Mais Linda,” among others.

Other members of Kosse’s team include Teresa Moneo, director of international original film for Spain and Italy, Mike Wheet, manager international original film, and Claire Willats, formerly director of acquisitions at STX Entertainment — where Kosse transitioned from in March.

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New In-Home Theatrical VOD Service Launches

A new transactional VOD service offering early home entertainment access to European theatrical releases has launched in the United States.

Dubbed ROW8, the service aims to accelerate home entertainment access to exclusive premieres of foreign theatrical titles in the U.S. market. Users can rent movies for $7.99, watchable on Internet-connected TVs, Roku, Android and Apple devices.

Founded by entrepreneurs George Christoph and Jasmina Christoph, and led by CEO John Calkins (formerly head of digital distribution at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), ROW8 is working with industry advisors Craig Kornblau (former president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and current advisor to a number of companies in the GV [Google Ventures] portfolio), and Ken Ziffren, co-founding partner of Ziffren Brittenham.

The service features proprietary technology, guided by CTO David Rondan, offering filmmakers the flexibility of tailoring their in-home releases with session-identifiable watermarks.

ROW8 is initially available on Web, iOS, Android and Roku, with other platforms to follow.

Initial titles include Danish box office hit Darkland; The End?, a stylish and imaginative Italian horror film, and Box 27, an emotional family drama from France.

Calkins said ROW8 aims to focus on advances in digital marketing and consumer demand, in addition to creating alternatives to traditional release patterns for “forward-thinking” film distributors.

“We are passionate film lovers who understand the challenges that a rapidly changing landscape has created for theatrically released films the world over,” he said in a statement.

Initial studio partner includes Germany’s Constantin Films, whose titles Adidas vs. Puma, and World War II drama, Friends Forever are available to stream.

“We are excited to be among the first to provide films to the ROW8 service, and believe the time is right in the market for the consumer to have accelerated access to great theatrical films, without compromising the upside to filmmakers or the risk of being lost in a subscription video-on-demand bundle,” said Constantin CEO Martin Moszkowicz.