Raindog Films, the UK-based production company co-founded by Colin Firth and music industry veteran Ged Doherty, is moving into TV, hiring writer and producer Trish D Chetty.
“I have always admired the films that Raindog make, each one of their films is bold and ambitious and the diversity of their work speaks for itself. I am excited to be joining Colin and Ged at this key stage of the company’s development,” said Trish D Chetty, who will oversee the expansion into high-end series, music content and documentaries.
The company has received backing from the UK Creative Content EIS Fund, which launched last summer to raise capital to back UK indie companies. EIS, or ‘Enterprise Investment Scheme’, is a government-backed program that allows emerging companies to raise capital from investors whose financial commitment is offset by tax relief. The scheme was created to encourage the economy of startup ventures but has had a controversial link to the film biz, with claims it has been misused by some producers and financiers. In response, the government relaunched EIS a couple of years ago to re-focus on backing the growth of companies.
The fund says it is planning to raise a total of $26M (£20M), investing around $1.3M-$4M (£1M-£3M) per company in overhead and development spend in businesses created in the last seven years.
Run by Calculus Capital and Stargrove Pictures, in association with the BFI, the fund has previously committed to funding former Channel 4 CEO David Abraham’s new shingle Wonderhood Studios.
Raindog, founded by Firth and Doherty in 2012, has credits including Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets, Jeff Nichols’ Loving and the Helen Mirren-starring Eye In The Sky. The company was previously backed by UK financier Silver Reel.
As part of the deal, Stargrove Pictures CEO Stephen Fuss will join the board of Raindog Films.
Colin Firth said: “The BFI works tirelessly to champion and support independent film and the wider UK screen industries, creating opportunities to train and develop new talent, to discover new voices and to ensure the highest ethical standards. We are delighted to receive investment from the UK Creative Content Fund which, although it operates independently, was an initiative of the BFI and its board.”
Ged Doherty added: “We value our independence more than anything and this investment will allow us the freedom to develop little known extraordinary stories and to help them find a global audience with the right partners. We are thrilled that Trish is joining us as she will bring a fresh perspective to everything we do.”
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