Will began his career in distribution by joining The Feature Film Company in early 1995 and overseeing the acquisition and release of over thirty-five films including Hanif Kureshi’s My Son The Fanatic, Oscar-nominated Ulee’s Gold and the reissues of It’s A Wonderful Life and Withnail AND I. In May 1999, seeing a gap in the industry for an innovative and effective distribution infrastructure, Will launched Optimum Releasing with the aim of successfully releasing a variety of distinctive titles within the UK marketplace. Optimum has acquired independent and foreign language films that have achieved both commercial and critical success such as the Oscar-nominated Mexican film Amores Perros, Wolf Creek, the Oscar-winning Spirited Away and Pan’s Labyrinth and this year’s critically acclaimed and award-winning This Is England. In 2006, Will agreed a deal for StudioCanal, the film, production and sales distribution arm of French media group Canal+, to acquire Optimum Releasing. This has given Optimum the opportunity to exploit the French company’s vast library of over 5,000 films, which includes the Ealing Comedies, the Carolco library and the Hammer library.
Will has supported a variety of filmmakers over the years, introducing Hayao Miyazaki to British audiences and has long standing relationships with directors such as Guillermo del Toro and Shane Meadows. He was also executive producer of Shane Meadows’ Dead Man’s Shoes and This Is England. One of the founding board members of Film London, Will has also participated in a number of industry initiatives such as the Government’s Film Policy Review Sub Committee on Distribution and has been a regular speaker at the National Film and Television School. He was recently invited to serve on the BAFTA film committee.
|2007 Jury Member|