Transatlantic prodco Leopard Films and UK indie Remedy Productions are uniting to launch Argonon, a super-indie helmed by Leopard CEO James Burstall, in a move that will also see the launch of Remedy Productions Canada.
Burstall said the new company – which consists of Leopard Films (The Day The Immigrants Left, Cash in the Attic), its drama arm Leopardrama, Leopard Films USA, Remedy (The NME Awards, Freshly Squeezed) and Remedy Canada – would be a “creative powerhouse with the ambition of becoming a centre of excellence across all genres of programming, both in the UK and international markets, across broadcast and digital platforms.”
With Burstall at the top, Argonon has hired former Wall to Wall financial director Stuart Mullin as its chief financial officer. Remedy’s joint MDs Toby Dormer and Juliet Borges have taken a “significant stake” in the new group and both have a seat on the board. Meanwhile, Leopard MD Susie Field is named Argonon Group general manager.
As part of the deal, Remedy – which has to date predominantly created music and youth-focused programming for nets including the BBC, Channel 4 and MTV – has launched Remedy Canada, based in Vancouver, in a bid to tap into and develop relationships with creative talent in the region.
Both Leopard and Remedy will operate as distinct and individual production companies under the umbrella of Argonon, while Leopard International will rebrand as Argonon International and handle distribution of all content across international territories in the group.
In a statement, Burstall said: “There is a huge appetite in the market now for first-rate programming, content across all platforms that challenges, questions and entertains in a surprising way. Argonon is home to some of the finest creatives in the industry and will offer talented people the platform, investment and resources to do inspiring work.”
He added that Remedy has “consistently delivered high quality, stand-out programming” and said the addition of Dormer and Borges “will spark new flashes of creativity.”
Dormer said: “Argonon is a fantastic opportunity and exciting development for Remedy Productions. There is a genuine synergy between us and Leopard and we look forward to collaborating creatively with them and future members of the Argonon Group in the coming months and years.”
Leopard said combined turnover for the new group would be approximately £25 million to £30 million (US$40.5 million to US$49 million), with an ambition to achieve up to £100 million within five years, following further acquisitions and growth.
In tandem with the news, Leopard Films has hired Charlie Bunce to be its head of features and formats. Bunce joins from TalkbackThames, where he was editor of factual programs, and will report directly to Leopard Films chief creative officer Todd Austin.
The hire follows the appointment of Fiona Morris, who recently joined Leopard Films as head of arts and performance. Finally, Leopard Films USA has bolstered its senior management team around president Nick Rigg, with Julian Locke promoted to VP of Leopard Films USA and Sara Banister joining as chief operating officer.