International premium content company Envision Entertainment announced on November 15 that ex-HBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen and Harry Potter producer David Barron are joining its executive team.
The heavyweight industry appointments have been made to realise Envision’s plans to expand aggressively in the international premium content space. David Barron will focus on supercharging Envision’s slate of high-end premium content, and Linda Jensen will launch an investment arm of the business which will acquire both IP and stakes in synergistic media companies. Envision founder Michael Nakan will work across both production and investment arms.
Jensen brings decades of experience building major international businesses in emerging markets, including MTV Russia and HBO’s Central European business. She has grown businesses through a combination of broadcast licensing and acquisition, asset disposal, new product and country launches, and programming acquisition and production. She pioneered HBO Europe’s premium local language programming with projects including Agnieszka Holland’s Czech language original Burning Bush (winner of 11 Czech Lions) and international Emmy award winning doc The World According To Ion B. Jensen will remain an Advisor and Board Member for Amediateka, the Russia and CIS “Home of HBO.”
With Jensen, Envision will seek out and acquire local IP with international potential. It will also take stakes in existing companies across the screen industry in complimentary fields such as publishing, gaming, and animation. Envision will initially focus on territories in CEE and East Asia (where Nakan has specialist knowledge), with plans to quickly expand into high-growth territories such as India, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa.
David Barron joins Envision’s production division, bringing with him decades of production experience on films such as six Harry Potter films, Legend of Tarzan, Cinderella, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Jack Ryan. His next feature, Emily, an Emily Brontë biopic starring Sex Education’s Emma Mackey, will be released by Warner Bros next year. The production division, led by Barron and Nakan, will manage Envision’s diverse slate of international premium projects in English, mixed language, and local languages.
Michael Nakan, Founder and Chief Content Officer of Envision Entertainment, comments: “Linda and David are two incredibly well-respected figures in the global content industry. Having them join the team is a real statement about our ambitions to make Envision a world-leading international production house and IP incubator. Following our recent co-production deal with Nippon TV and the current investment round we are anticipating a period of rapid growth and to quickly become a highly respected producer of global content. We all know that great stories can come from anywhere, even countries without established content industries, and our objective is to build a sustainable catalogue of original and acquired IP in both mature and emerging markets worldwide.”
Linda Jensen Global Head of Investments says: “Global content needs are growing, both for stories and IP, as well as services. Envision is dedicated to meeting these needs by sourcing the best local ideas and assets for growth. I look forward to working with Michael and David as we grow Envision.”
David Barron Global Head of Scripted adds:“This is a huge opportunity to capitalise on our very ambitious plans and I am very excited to be working with Linda and Michael to continue to grow Envision Entertainment in the International marketplace.”
Envision Entertainment was founded by Michael Nakan in January 2021. Envision recently announced a content partnership with Japan’s Nippon TV, and will produce a UK-set series for an American streamer in 2022. Envision is in advanced discussions with financial partners and is currently in a round of fundraising.