WREKIN HILL ENTERTAINMENT is a Los Angeles-based production and distribution company, founded by the former Newmarket Films team of Chris Ball and Rene Cogan. Ball and Cogan built a reputation at Newmarket for producing and distributing such indie classics as MEMENTO, DONNIE DARKO, WHALE RIDER, MONSTER, and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Wrekin Hill has a multi-year US home entertainment distribution deal with Lionsgate. The company aims to distribute a number of quality international theatrical films (such as the previously released Peter Weir’s THE WAY BACK starring Ed Harris and Colin Farrell; Zhang Yimou’s Golden-Globe nominated THE FLOWERS OF WAR starring Christian Bale; and the Bille August title NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent and Charlotte Rampling), Liv Ullmann’s MISS JULIE starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton; the internationally acclaimed family animated film YELLOWBIRD produced by TeamTo Studios featuring the voices of Seth Green & Dakota Fanning, and THE PHYSICIAN, starting Tom Payne, Olivier Martinex and Ben Kingslyy based on the best-selling novel by Noah Gordon; star and concept-driven Ultra VOD films (such as the previously released DARK TIDE starring Halle Berry, DRIFT starring Sam Worthington); and quality ancillary-focused titles (such as INGENIOUS starring Jeremy Renner, GALLOWWALKERS starring Wesley Snipes and GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS: UNDERGROUND the third installment of the action trilogy and starring Scott Adkins).
CHRIS BALL co-founded Newmarket Films in 1994 and acted as COO of that company until December 2009 when Exclusive Media acquired Newmarket. After Exclusive's acquisition of Newmarket, Ball became Co-Chairman of Exclusive and President of Exclusive Media USA.
As co-founder (with William Tyrer) and COO of Newmarket Films, Ball helped oversee the growth of the company from a private film finance company to one of the preeminent producers and distributors of independent film in the world. By 1998, having been involved in the financing of over 75 features such as Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, and the Wachowski's debut Bound, Tyrer and Ball had built a creative team and expanded into production, with the groundbreaking Christopher Nolan classic, Memento.
Newmarket's distribution arm was created by Ball and Tyrer to theatrically release Memento in the US. The company followed up this release with the distribution of a surprising string of critical and box office successes that sound like a roll call of great indie cinema: Donnie Darko, Whale Rider, Monster, Downfall and The Passion Of The Christ.
Newmarket, whilst perhaps best known for its distribution of hit independent films, also continued to produce and co-produce films such as The Mexican, Cruel Intentions, The Skulls, Prom Night and The Prestige.
During Ball's time at Newmarket, he oversaw sixteen straight years of profitability and the development of the company into a leading producer and distributor of independent film. Ball also helped build Saturn Home Entertainment (partly owned by Newmarket), a profitable video and TV distribution company. At the time of sale to Exclusive, the Newmarket library consisted of interests in more than 250 titles.
Prior to founding Newmarket, Ball spent fifteen years in the banking industry with Lloyds Bank and Daiwa Bank. He guided the respective film financing divisions of those banks into becoming highly profitable areas.
RENE COGAN was Chief Financial Officer of Newmarket Films for over 13 years until December 2009. She was responsible for all financial aspects of the company including corporate transactions, development, production and distribution of films. After Exclusive's acquisition of Newmarket, Rene became Exclusive Media Group's Chief Financial Officer, US Operations. Before joining Newmarket Films, Rene was employed at KPMG as Senior Manager in the entertainment practice for eight years based in Century City and London.