Searchlight Pictures has brought back Derval Whelan as its new Head of Distribution, who is replacing Frank Rodriguez, who has recently left Disney’s speciality studio to become the General Sales Manager for Amazon’s MGM.
In the new role, Derval will strategise and implement release patterns for the company’s upcoming film slate.
Derval previously worked for Searchlight Pictures for fourteen years until 2021, when she left to work as the President of Distribution at Bleecker Street, where she oversaw the theatrical distribution strategies on films, which included “Dream Horse”.
During her time at Searchlight Pictures, she worked on the distribution of “12 Years a Slave”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, “The Shape of Water”, “Birdman”, and “Slumdog Millionaire”. Before working at Searchlight Pictures, she has previously worked at Sony Pictures Classics, Miramax, MK2 USA, and Orion Classics.
Presidents of Searchlight Pictures David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield said in a statement to Deadline:
“We’ve known Derval for a long time, she was part of some of our most incredible successes over the years. Her expertise and acumen in the distribution space are unrivalled, and we couldn’t be happier to have her back at Searchlight.”