Ascendant Fox, the production outfit behind the multi-award winning, Boiling Point film, forthcoming Gassed Up and the BBC One & BBC iPlayer Boiling Point TV series (produced with Matriarch Productions and Made Up Productions) starring Vinette Robinson, Stephen Graham, Ray Panthaki and Hannah Walters has struck a “significant” development deal with BBC Studios in addition to appointing two new key executives to the team.

The deal sees an investment in the Ascendant Fox’s development slate and also gives BBC Studios a first look agreement on distribution rights on projects.

Hannah Perks, Netflix’s former Head of Film Acquisitions and Co-productions for the UK and EMEA joins as Head of Development. While at Netflix, Perks commissioned hits such as Bank of Dave and Inside Manco-commissioned and co-produced with BBC as well as acquiring the breakout hit film Boiling Point. She has over a decade’s experience in the film and television industry and previously held positions at Lionsgate, Channel4 and Aardman Animations.

Victoria Zalin, joins Ascendant Fox as its new Head of Production. Zalin has extensive experience working in film and television production including Paddington 2, Morbius, My Cousin Rachel, Far From The Madding Crowd and A United Kingdom and TV productions such as Atlanta and Watchmen.

Ascendant Fox’s Partners and Executive Producers, Hester Ruoff and Bart Ruspoli says, “With such an exciting, diverse slate of film and TV projects in development, we feel honoured to have been approached by BBC Studios to help bring them from script to screen. Caroline Stone, Mark Linsey. Kate Woods and their team have been a huge support for our debut television series Boiling Point and we can’t wait to share news on our next productions. In addition, we are absolutely delighted to have Hannah Perks and Victoria Zalin join our team bringing with them a wealth of experience in both film and television production.”

“Ascendant Fox is committed to delivering quality projects, that shine a spotlight on today’s complex society. We are passionate about supporting new talent and creating a platform where important stories are given the voice they deserve.”

Caroline Stone, Commercial Director of Scripted, BBC Studios says: “Hester Ruoff and Bart Ruspoli are exceptional talent with a strong development slate and we’re delighted to be backing them in bringing more powerful, distinctive stories to the screen.”

Hester Ruoff (formerly Burton Fox Films) and Bart Ruspoli (formerly Ascendant Films) both award-winning producers, merged their companies in 2022 to become Ascendant Fox following the success of the Boiling Point movie which has amassed over 30 award nominations and 9 wins.

Ruoff, executive produced Bafta-winning film Convenience (2015) starring Ray Panthaki, Adeel Akhtar, Anthony Head, Verne Troyer and Vicky McClure. In 2017 she joined forces with Line Producer Laureline Garcia to produce short film Gerry, a coming-of-age film for a woman in her 80’s starring Joan Collins as the lonely widow Hilda. Ruspoli set up Ascendant Films in 2017 and his first feature Nightshooters (2018) was selected for Raindance, Leeds and Mayhem Festivals in 2019. He produced Villain (2020) starring Craig Fairbrass, Taz Skylar, Robert Glenister and Izuka Hoyle.

Jon Creamer

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