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BBC Worldwide Announces $190 Million Drama Fund With Anton

Variety logo Variety 4/13/2017 Robert Mitchell
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BBC Worldwide is partnering with Sebastien Raybaud’s Anton to create a £150 million ($190 million) fund for investment in high-end British drama with international appeal.

The Drama Investment Partnership will aim to speed up the process of bringing premium drama projects by British companies, such as upcoming series “McMafia” (pictured) and Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” into production by having funds available at the point of commission.

“With the Drama Investment Partnership, we are actively bringing new funding opportunities to the market, consistent with our history of pioneering financing and partnership deals,” Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, said in a statement.

The fund is initially scheduled to run for three years. BBC Worldwide said it expected to greenlight a slate worth “at least £150 million” during that initial period. BBC Worldwide will select projects for development and investment to be financed through the partnership and also handle global marketing and distribution.

Davie said the two companies were confident the new fund would “unlock greater opportunities for content-makers and commissioners to ensure the very best of British drama continues to be made for audiences across the world.”

The Drama Investment Partnership is structured as an exclusive co-financing partnership between BBC Worldwide and Anton, with both companies providing funding. Anton has had a slate co-financing deal with Studiocanal since 2011, investing in such projects as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Imitation Game,” and family hit “Paddington” and its upcoming sequel.

In May last year Anton also announced a slate co-financing deal with Canada’s Elevation Pictures that would include output deals with Black Bear Pictures, Bleecker Street Films and Bold Films. That deal saw it commit to investing in up to 25 projects per year. Titles that have already benefited from the deal include Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon” and John Lee Hancock’s “The Founder.”

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