US-based nonscripted production company Asylum Entertainment Group (part of Endeavour) has invested in Dare Pictures, the London-based production company spearheaded by Founder and CEO Derren Lawford.

The investment also sees Dare’s angel investors, Rosegown, exit the business while Lawford will continue to lead day-to-day operations, using this investment to further charge the company’s development and expansion. Michelle Morgan remains the Chair in the new Board structure and moves to Company Director and minority shareholder of the business.

“Derren and his studio exemplify the vision and trajectory we value at Asylum,” says Steve Michaels, Chief Executive Officer of Asylum. “His enviable track record and diverse interests make him an ideal partner, and we are honored to become an essential part of Dare’s continued growth.”

“Asylum has an undeniable passion to reach audiences through its distinct and impressive IP, a passion we share at Dare,” says Derren Lawford. “Steve is an incredibly shrewd entrepreneur, so the opportunity to evolve our company within Asylum’s unique global network provides us with the perfect platform to create more original and memorable stories from around the world.”

Dare’s slate includes a mix of genres and media across television, film and podcasts. The company’s most recent international nonscripted projects include its miniseries Crypto Queen: Visionary, Victim or Villain? and Dalton’s Dream, the feature-length documentary produced for BBC’s Storyville strand that premiered at Sheffield DocFest.

Dare was recently commissioned to produce The Secrets of UK Prisons, which became one of the highest-rated specials for Channel 4’s strand Untold.

Lawford helped launch two UK television channels, two production divisions – BBC’s SVOD Global iPlayer and the first Black national radio station in the UK 1Xtra – through the BBC. Prior to Dare, Lawford was behind the BAFTA Award-winning short film The Black Cop and executive produced a trio of Netflix films: Generation Revolution; Mandela, My Dad and Me; and Cut from a Different Cloth. Additional credits include National Geographic’s Fiennes: Return to the Nile, The Ivy and Football: A Brief History by Alfie Allen.

Lawford is a trustee of Sheffield DocFest; he is affiliated with Documentary Campus’ Masterschool, Europe’s longest-running training program; and was a mentor for Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, which provided African filmmakers the tools to share their stories with the world.

The news comes on the heels of Asylum’s recent investments in UK-based production companies Soho Studios and Moon&Back Media. Previously, Asylum solidified first-look deals with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and his Comandante Productions, as well as the New York Post. In 2022, the company acquired Austin-based Texas Crew Productions (How I Caught My Killer).

Dare Pictures was advised by Plan 9 Consultancy.

Launched by multi-award-winning producer Steve Michaels, Asylum Entertainment Group is the parent company to Texas Crew Productions, Big City TV, Breaklight Pictures and Audity. Asylum has produced a diverse slate of television long-form, features, documentaries and unscripted series, including launching ESPN’s series 30 for 30 and limited series  The Kennedys, starring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear. Other titles include Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, American Cartel, King of the Con, Doubling Down with the Derricos, Sins of the Amish and How I Caught My Killer.  The company has first-look deals with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and his Comandante Productions as well as the New York Post. It also holds minority investments in newly launched Moon&Back Media and Soho Studios.

Asylum is part of Endeavor’s nonscripted content group.





Pippa Considine

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