Optomen International – the distribution arm of All3Media-owned What to Eat Now producer Optomen Television – is launching a third-party distribution department.
The arm is led by former Zodiak Rights exec Alex Brudenell, who is now serving in the newly created role of senior acquisitions executive. He is charged with sourcing and acquiring third-party content that fits with Optomen International’s current distribution catalog. Optomen International says in a release that it has budgeted for the rights to up to 100 hours of third-party content by the end of 2015.
The first project on the third-party slate is the hour-long doc, Katie Piper’s Extraordinary Birth - a Broad Bean Media production for UK pubcaster Channel 4. In the doc, Piper reveals extreme birth experiences, from dolphin-assisted deliveries to parents who get Botox for photos with their newborns.
Meanwhile, a second project is Asian Flavours of Europe (12 x 30 minutes), which explores the Asian food infusing European cuisine, and features MasterChef winner Jennie Wallden. The program – for which Optomen International is currently seeking pre-sale partners – is in development by Swedish indie Lucky Day. Optomen International has taken the worldwide rights for the program, excluding Sweden, where Lucky Day is presently negotiating a domestic commission.
At Zodiak Rights, Brudenell spent three years as VP of factual acquisitions and was responsible for sourcing and acquiring third-party content and managing the international roll-out of Zodiak-produced finished programming. Previously, he held sales and rights-management posts at RDF Media.
The exec is working on the new arm’s content strategy alongside chief of sales Caroline Stephenson.
“As a distributor that has always worked hand-in-hand with producers, we have the skill and experience of handling a wide range of projects right from their initial treatment to screen,” said Stephenson in a statement. “We have the mind-set and flexibility of a boutique but crucially, we also have the backing to offer distribution terms on a par with our larger rivals.”