Fremantle signs first look distribution deal with new production company Astronaut Films
Founded by BAFTA-nominated Jon Alwen, who previously held senior roles at Pulse Films, Lion TV and Voltage TV (credits include Inside Misguided: Made in Manchester (Channel 4); Countdown to Partition (BBC) and One Deadly Weekend in America (BBC)); the deal will see Astronaut Films secure the best creative talent and IP for a mix of specials and premium feature documentaries for the international and UK markets. Fremantle will distribute internationally.
Fremantle Senior Acquisitions Manager, International, Céire Clark, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Fremantle to invest in, and develop an exclusive distribution relationship with a fast-rising premium production company like Astronaut Films. Jon brings a wealth of experience in non-scripted production and I’m delighted to welcome him and Astronaut to the Fremantle family.”
CEO of Astronaut Films, Jon Alwen, said: “This is a brilliant deal for us, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with Fremantle. Astronaut has got off to a great start but we’re ambitious and want to expand quickly, Ceire and her team’s expertise and Fremantle’s reach will be instrumental in helping us do that”.
Since its launch last year, Astronaut Films has grown a strong network of commissioners and the best creatives and talent in the non-scripted space. Core output over the next two years will be a rich mix of global series, specials and feature documentaries, including The Assassination of JFK for Channel 5 in the UK, commissioned by Lucy Willis, Commissioning Editor (factual) – a dramatic retelling of the fateful events of November 22nd, 1963, uniquely told from three different perspectives, featuring expert testimony and new insights into the death of JFK. Astronaut Films is currently in production on two series and advanced development on multiple projects featuring UK and international talent for a range of global broadcasters.
The addition of the Astronaut Films ‘first look deal’ to Fremantle’s slate of premium non-scripted content highlights the company’s commitment to continue its growth in the high-end factual entertainment space with a focus on meaningful and culturally relevant titles. Previously announced titles include – urgent water scarcity documentary Day Zero, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor; cinematic climate research documentary Arctic Drift: A Year in the Ice; the Samuel L. Jackson-fronted seminal series Enslaved; October Films’ First Ladies; How It Feels to Be Free, executive produced by Alicia Keys; Award-winning director Hugo Berkeley’s five-part docuseries Veleno: The Town of Lost Children and Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, executive produced by Lebron James.
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