Derren Lawford, founder of DARE Pictures and Alex Tondowski of Germany’s Tondowski Films have formed a new strategic partnership focusing on “bold premium documentary productions for the international market.”

The companies initially joined forces last year to co-produce the 3-part doc series Crypto Queen (with Channel 4, Sky Germany, and Fremantle), and off the back of this collaboration are now consolidating this partnership to co-develop and co-produce a slate of “impactful and international” limited documentary series “characterised by exclusive access, unique IP and top tier talent.”

The comnpanies are already in discussions with broadcasters, film funds and private equity about several projects.

Effective immediately, and reporting to both Derren and Alex, Fatima Shafiq has been hired as Head of Development (International) to work across and build on the new slate of projects. Shafiq previously headed the development team at ITN Productions which saw over 800 hours produced across the year.  Over the years, she has been instrumental in securing commissions for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Paramount Plus, and A+E Networks to name a few.  She was also selected as a Breakthrough Leader in 2021 – the annual leadership programme sponsored by The TV Collective, Fremantle, and Indigo Talent.

Derren Lawford, Founder & CEO, DARE Pictures said: “DARE Pictures and Tondowski Films share a passion for cinematic production values and compelling multi-layered stories that provoke and delight international audiences in equal measure.  By joining forces and harnessing our collective global network of top tier directors, producers, and editors, we’re looking to make the most of the exciting and exclusive IP at our disposal.  We’re delighted and excited to have secured the services of such a prolific documentary development exec such as Fatima.”

Alex Tondowski, CEO, Tondowski Films said: “Tondowski Films cannot imagine a better partner than Derren and his company DARE Pictures.  Both companies are well respected in their territories and have a very strong track record with broadcaster, film funds and distributors.  Combining this and our similar editorial line is an obvious next step for us.”

Fatima Shafiq, Head of Development (International) added: “I’m thrilled to join DARE Pictures and Tondowski Films as their first Head of Development (International). We already have a flourishing premium documentary slate, and I’m excited to build upon this.”

Both DARE Pictures and Tondowski Films will also continue to work on their own separate broader range of productions independently and outside of the partnership arrangement.

Jon Creamer

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