Indie October Films has announced that Executive Chairman Denman Rooke is stepping down, after almost 25 years at the company.
Rooke joined October Films in 1995 – originating, directing and executive producing a wide range of films, from observational documentaries to science, history and current affairs. In 2004 he became Managing Director, and continued to executive produce many of October’s award-winning programmes such as The Beslan Siege which won the Prix Italia, as well as long-running, successful formats, including 10 series of Outrageous Acts of Science. In 2014, he was appointed Executive Chairman, where he continued to develop and produce, as well as implementing October’s direction and strategy.
Following his departure, his strategic responsibilities will be taken on by Managing Director Adam Bullmore; Director, Production and Operations, Jane Manning; and Creative Director Matt Robins.
Denman Rooke said: “For the past quarter-century October Films has been at the centre of my professional life. The company has given me the opportunity to fulfil many of my greatest creative ambitions and I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some of the most talented people in the television industry. I’ve seen October grow from one room where we made a few hours of television a year to become a company employing over a hundred people, based in our offices in the UK and the US and in our drama studios and post-production facilities.
“It has been an exciting and demanding 25 years, but as I head into my sixties, I have been reflecting on the possibilities of a life with a different rhythm. After much thought, I’ve decided that now is the right time to move on.
“I am proud to have been part of a company that produces great television and has won numerous awards, including Emmys, BAFTAs and RTS. But most of all I’ve been proud to have been part of an independent company that has remained focussed on our beating creative heart – the people we work with. They are the wellspring of our success.”
Adam Bullmore, Managing Director of October Films added: “Denman has been a huge and central part of the October story for the last 25 years. As a passionate director and producer he was responsible for some our most prestigious films and long running series. As a Managing Director and latterly Executive Chairman, Denman’s diligence, calmness and commitment helped us navigate the often dangerously choppy waters of an ever changing sector. For these achievements alone he will be very fondly remembered, but it is as a trusted friend and constant champion for the work of others that Denman’s contribution to October is most significant. We all owe him huge thanks, but Jane, Matt and myself in particular. We wish him the greatest of success in the exciting new future he is embarking upon with typical panache.”
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