Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell have launched new indie, House Productions.
The new drama and film production company launches with backing from BBC Worldwide and a first look film deal Access Entertainment, the media investment group headed up by former BBC director of television Danny Cohen.
Ross is the former controller of film and drama at Channel 4, while Howell stepped down last year after five years as Working Title’s head of television.
House Productions will be based in London with Ross and Howell as joint CEOs, working across the company’s slate of television and feature films.
Ross said: “We’re going to build a creative and supportive home at House Productions and look forward to growing something unique and long lasting with both new and old collaborators.
BBC Worldwide has taken a 25% stake in House Productions as part of their investment in the new indie. The deal will see the BBC’s commercial and international arm act as the global distributor for House’s TV content slate.
Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s Chief Content Officer said: "Tessa and Juliette are two of the most inspirationally creative people I have ever met and we’re proud to play a part in enabling yet another great British start-up. “
Recently formed Access Entertainment has agreed a first look deal to develop and finance feature films with House Productions. Access Entertainment is part of Access Industries, the media, industrial and technology group owned by U.S. industrialist Len Blavatnik.
Blavatnik said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell and look forward to jointly producing premium-quality films with world-class talent.”
Cohen said: “The mission of Access Entertainment is to work with the world’s leading creative talent and this first-look film deal with House Productions is an important step in our plans. I’m excited to get going on developing a slate of premium quality movies with them.”
In addition, House Productions has additional investment from New York based investor Laura Sloate.
Ross won acclaim during her tenure at Film4 for backing award winning films, including Four Lions, This is England, In Bruges, Slumdog Millionaire, Under the Skin and 12 Years a Slave. She left the broadcaster at the end of 2014, where her most recent commissions included Carol, Room, The Lobster, 45 Years and Ex Machina.
Howell oversaw drama at Working Title including London Spy and Birdsong for the BBC, the BBC/HBO film Mary and Martha and Sky’s comedy series Yonderland, currently in production on its third series. Howell also oversaw You, Me and the Apocalypse on Sky/NBC.