Sky is growing its international production and distribution business with a majority stake in British factual producer True North and an investment in drama producer Chrysalis Vision. The moves are part of Sky’s expansion strategy under the Sky Vision banner which has stakes in such firms as Love Productions, Jupiter Entertainment, Blast! Films and Talos Films.
True North was founded in 2001 and is run by Jess Fowle and Andrew Sheldon. The largest factual indie in the north of England, it’s headquartered in Leeds with a second base in Manchester. Credits include A New Life In The Sun, Teen Mom UK, Building The Dream, Homes By The Sea, Junior Vets On Call, The Lie Detective and Breaking The Silence Live. Most recently, it has focused on developing popular factual entertainment shows and formats. Sheldon and Fowle will say on as Creative Directors to spearhead continued growth.
The company had been backed by Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund which will exit as Sky enters. C4 chief David Abraham says, “In just two years we’ve helped secure a strong future for True North. In this time, and with Channel 4’s support, Andrew and Jess have built one of the biggest factual indies in the country and established an important training ground for new and diverse creative talent in the north. The return on our investment in True North will support our ongoing commitment to the UK-wide creative sector.”
Chrysalis Vision was founded by music, media and sport entrepreneur Chris Wright; producer Mick Pilsworth; former Clear Channel CEO Roger Parry; and investor and former Channel 4 Chairman Luke Johnson. It currently has a slate in development.
As part of the agreements, Sky Vision will become the worldwide commercial and distribution partner for both True North and Chrysalis. Existing terms with other broadcasters and distributors remain unchanged.