TVF’s Nelson launches Nipper

Amy Nelson (pictured), most recently TVF International's head of programming, has left the London-based factual distributor after five years to launch her own content development company, Nipper Films.
April 26, 2011

Amy Nelson (pictured), most recently TVF International’s head of programming,┬áhas left the London-based factual distributor after five years to launch her own content development company, Nipper Films.

Nelson left TVF this month to set up the indie, which is based in the UK and will see her working out of London and Cape Town. TVF has subsequently promoted Alice Hamlett to acquisitions and programming manager, with TVF International director Leila Monks taking on more responsibility in working with producers.

“Amy achieved many great things at TVF and took the acquisitions department from strength to strength,” said Monks. “She is incredibly smart and I’m sure her strategic skills will mean that her new business will grow quickly, and we wish her the best of luck.”

Nelson’s new company will work with producers to develop advertiser- and brand-funded factual programming, as well as traditional documentary projects.

“One of the problems that I found with the old-fashioned distribution model was that brands and sponsors were particularly keen to place programs in certain territories with a certain demographic,” Nelson told realscreen. “However, it is difficult for a large distributor to do that because it requires a more tailored approach.”

With the company having only officially launched this week, Nelson said it was too soon to talk about the specific firms she was working with. However, she said Nipper was working on three international documentary singles, two factual series for UK TV and a cross-platform adventure travel project, as well as a series of wildlife stories for children.

While some projects will be for broadcast, others will be specifically for the web. She added that the new indie will be “more than just a consultancy” and said she was looking forward to being involved in the development stage of projects more than the distribution stage, since “that’s when you can actually change stuff.”

Among the genres Nipper is looking at is blue chip science programming, something Nelson hopes her links with South Africa can help with. “There are fantastic CGI and animation studios in Cape Town with very affordable pricing,” she said, adding that having a reliable pipeline for CGI was “pretty essential” for making good blue chip science.

She added that while factual would be the key focus of the indie for now, she was not ruling out the possibility of exploring other genres in future.

Nelson joined TVF International in 2006 as an acquisitions executive, rising to head of acquisitions and latterly head of programming. In departing, she paid tribute to her former colleagues. “They are an amazing group of people who are very driven and fun,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll be working closely together in the future.”

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