Townsend, who joined the global streaming platform from the BBC in 2017, is relocating to London as the company grows its presence outside of the U.S. She will be part of Netflix’s doc team and will work closely with British and European producers as it expands its slate of original factual titles. She will work closely in London with former Canal Plus executive Diego Buñuel, who is also moving from LA to London as part of the doc unit.
Netflix, which has 72.8M subscribers internationally compared to 57.4M in the U.S., has been increasingly sending execs around the world to be closer to production teams and creators.
During her time at Netflix, Townsend has worked on shows including Explained, the series produced in association Vox that looks at topics such as the rise of cryptocurrency and the wild world of K-pop, Sandi Tan’s feature film Shirkers and Follow This, which is produced with Buzzfeed.
Before joining Netflix, Townsend ran the BBC’s feature doc strand Storyville. She commissioned docs including Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story, Sundance award-winner Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, and Leslee Udwin’s controversial gang rape story India’s Daughter. As well as previously being series producer on science strand Horizon, she directed and produced titles including fly-on-the-wall docu-soap Paddington Green and Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekend.