Exclusive: Primitive buys into Essential 11 Canada

Toronto-based Primitive Entertainment has struck a deal to acquire a minority stake in Essential 11 Television Canada. (Pictured: Essential 11 Media Group CEO Chris Hilton)
January 26, 2014

Primitive Entertainment has struck a deal to acquire a minority stake in Essential 11 Television Canada.

The deal will see Primitive acquiring roughly a third of Essential 11 Television Canada, which is part of the Australia-based Essential 11 Media Group, for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the agreement, Primitive’s president Michael McMahon and VP of business affairs Kristina McLaughlin will join the board of Essential 11 Television Canada.

Talking to realscreen at the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC, Essential 11 Media Group CEO Chris Hilton said the deal would help both parties to expand.

“It gives us the ability to coproduce between Essential and Primitive in Canada,” he said. “We have a few projects that we’ve got Australian and Canadian money for, which are going to go ahead.

“And for Michael, it will also help him to launch a more commercial, factual entertainment slate, via our established brand.”

In a statement, McMahon added: “Joining Chris Hilton and the team at Essential 11 is the perfect opportunity for us to diversify our production genres as we have planned to do.

“The Essential 11 brand is very strong and we’re excited to be able to leverage the U.S. and international relationships it gives us access to.”

Hilton added that, among several projects, Essential is currently shooting a hidden camera pilot in Toronto for National Geographic Channel. The company has previously produced titles including Solo, Left for Dead: Miracle on Everest and A Traveler’s Guide to the Planets for Nat Geo.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.