EXCLUSIVE: XTR, the non-fiction studio behind projects such as Darren Aronofsky co-produced doc The Territory and Apple’s They Call Me Magic, is bolstering its C-suite.
The company has hired Abazar Khayami as its Head of Studio, where he will build out its production services and oversee the current and upcoming slate of feature documentaries including all development, production and execution.
He joins from mobile live video shopping company NTWRK, where he was Head of Content and built and established the company’s content strategy, working with the likes of Billie Eilish and Juice WRLD. Before that, he was an exec producer at Spotify, where he worked on its video content strategy and development of its podcast division. He also spent five years at Vice Media, where he produced across Vice’s feature film studios and news departments, including projects with President Barack Obama, Spike Jonze, Jimmy Chin and Jonas Akerlund.
Khayami will also oversee the creation of original content for Documentary+, the studio’s global nonfiction streaming platform.
The hire comes as XTR doubles down on production and follows a Best Documentary Oscar nomination yesterday for its Ascension film from Jessica Kingdon.
XTR recently premiered six documentaries at Sundance Film Festival including The Territory, which was picked up by Nat Geo and Free Chol Soo Lee, which was acquired by Mubi. The company has produced and financed over 80 documentary features and series since 2019.
“In my 15 years in the industry, I’ve never seen a bigger moment for nonfiction,” said Khayami. “XTR shares my vision for a better documentary industry, one that creates real business for filmmakers, both experienced and emerging. XTR is at the forefront of the documentary revolution and I’m so excited to build out production as Head of Studio.”
“We are thrilled that Abazar has come on to lead XTR’s production studio during a moment of tremendous growth for the company,” added Kathryn Everett, XTR Co-Founder and Head of Film. “We have a shared vision that draws on Abazar’s leadership and experience in the commercial and narrative worlds. With him at the helm, our production services team is going to be the best in the business.”
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