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BBC Worldwide buys into Cuba Pictures and Curtis Brown

BBC Worldwide buys into Cuba Pictures and Curtis Brown
Jon Creamer
14 April 2016

BBC Worldwide is to buy into drama indie Cuba Pictures and agency Curtis Brown.

BBC Worldwide will invest in Original Talent Ltd, the newly created parent company for both Cuba Pictures and Curtis Brown, taking a 10% shareholding.  BBC Worldwide will be represented by one director on the board of Cuba Pictures and one on the Original Talent board, along with joint Curtis Brown CEOs Ben Hall and Jonny Geller, Sarah Spear and Nick Marston.

BBC Worldwide and Cuba Pictures have partnered on content development and distribution since 2014. The new agreement will see BBC Worldwide’s first look across all television output initially extended for a further five years, until 2021. 

Cuba Pictures was set up in 2008 under CEO Nick Marston to produce the highest end British scripted TV series and films.  Television credits include BAFTA-winning Boy A and Coalition for Channel 4 and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC One.  It is currently working on new commissions McMafia for BBC One and Paula for BBC Two with BBC Northern Ireland. Cuba also has a film portfolio - Broken, London Road and The Ones Below, all for BBC Films - which is not covered by the output agreement with BBC Worldwide. 
Curtis Brown joint CEO, Jonny Geller, said: “BBC Worldwide has, over many years, proven itself a first-class partner for independent British production companies.  Coming on the back of an established working relationship, our closer collaboration will help us accelerate Cuba Pictures’ ambitions.”
Ben Hall, joint CEO of Curtis Brown, added: “This new relationship will unlock further production opportunities from the richness of Curtis Brown’s talent relationships and access to IP.  I am proud of all that Cuba Pictures has achieved to date, and excited about what we can deliver for a range of commissioners and channels in the future.”

BBC Worldwide’s Chief Content Officer, Helen Jackson, said: “This deeper partnership is one of a small number we are forging with independent producers of the highest quality content - securing access and facilitating new premium content. It is an investment in British creativity, with Cuba Pictures’ quality credentials already evident. As well as retaining a long-term content partner for BBC Worldwide, this deeper relationship lets us back a British production team playing on the world’s content stage for the next phase of its growth and success.”

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