Sinking Ship grows international sales team

Former GRB Studios exec Mehmet Gunduz joins the prodco in a newly created position as Sinking Ship looks to build out its distribution business.

Mehmet GunduzToronto, Canada-based prodco Sinking Ship Entertainment has hired Mehmet Gunduz in the newly created position manager of TV sales for Latin America and Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa.

Based in Toronto, Gunduz will report to co-heads of sales and distribution Marilyn Kynaston and Kate Sanagan. He’ll be selling the company’s catalogue of content, which includes four-to eight-year-old targeted live-action and CGI-blended series Odd Squad (80 x 22 minutes), Dino Dana (52 x 22 minutes), and the recently launched sci-fi adventure series Endlings (12 x 22 minutes) for kids eight to 12.

Gunduz has many years of experience in sales and has worked at New York’s Everest International Distribution as the senior manager of international sales and acquisitions focused on animated children’s series. He’s also held roles at distribution companies BreakAway International Media, where he launched the company’s inflight content division; and Central Park Films as its director of non-scripted content licensing, selling to domestic and international partners. Most recently, he was the VP of international sales and acquisitions at GRB Studios, managing content and format sales for Canada, Germany, France, Africa, CIS, Russia and the Middle East, and acquiring third-party content for its catalogue.

Sinking Ship has been growing with new hires and categories, including Jennifer Lee Hackett, its first manager of museum and non-theatrical sales, and Tanya Green, as its first head of animated series to lead its new animation division.

Both Hackett and Green joined the producer last year as it expanded its content reach. It picked up the second-window TV distribution rights of Amazon kids original Just Add Magic (39 x half-hour episodes) – which it sold to international broadcasters Discovery Kids (LatAm), WildBrain’s Family Channel and Groupe TVA’s Yoopa, while PBS Kids also picked up a third season of Odd Squad (which Sinking Ship coproduces with Pennsylvania-based studio Fred Rogers Productions), in March.

From Kidscreen