Plimsoll touts sales growth
Independent TV prodco Plimsoll Productions reported a significant growth in its sales in its latest financial year despite the challenges of the global pandemic.
For the financial year ending August 2021, the company generated sales of £50 million, up 65% from the previous year.
Plimsoll specializes in wildlife, documentary and factual entertainment titles, and claims to be the biggest independent producer of natural history programming in the world. The company has produced more than 70 series for broadcasters including Netflix, Disney, Apple and Natural Geographic since its inception in 2013.
In August 2019, Plimsoll was backed by private equity firm LDC, which allowed the company to invest in its natural history, documentary and factual drama units and pursued further growth, including an expansion of its U.S. presence.
During the period, the Bristol-based prodco released a number of high-profile projects including Tiny World on Apple TV+ and Women of 9/11 for ABC.
“We’re immensely proud of our multi-award-winning creative teams and their achievements over the last few years. It’s testament to their skills and long-term commitment that our projects continue to have a real impact, helping to raise awareness of important global issues and drive forward positive societal change,” said Grant Mansfield, CEO and founder of Plimsoll Productions in a release.
Scorpion TV global distribution deal for Meeting the Beatles in India
London-based indie content distributor Scorpion TV has closed a distribution deal for the feature documentary Meeting the Beatles in India (pictured) for the global rights including theatrical, TV and VOD outside the U.S. and Canada.
The film is directed and produced by Emmy-winning filmmaker Paul Saltzman, and executive produced by David Lynch, among others, with narration by Morgan Freeman.
The film follows Saltzman himself who, in 1968 at the age of 23, spent a week hanging out with the Beatles at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, one of the most flamboyant gurus of the 1960s. The documentary recounts the experience with dozens of never-before-seen personal photos as well as exclusive film footage from the ashram.
“Until I saw Meeting the Beatles in India, I thought every scrap of Beatles material had been shared, dissected and recycled, but this film is a genuinely new look at a vitally important time in the band’s history. It’s an honest, intimate story, told from the perspective of a young man outside of the Beatles entourage. We’re honored to bring such a fascinating addition to our shared global culture to screens around the world,” said David Cornwall, managing director of Scorpion TV, in a release.
Espresso acquires witchcraft doc Coven
Espresso Media International has acquired the worldwide rights (excluding English-speaking Canada) to the new feature documentary Coven, about modern-day witchcraft.
The documentary is described as “a layered look at the ancient practice of witchcraft,” looking at modern interpretations through diverse personalities around the world. The film is told through three characters: a young Toronto novice witch, a queer Ethiopian/Eritrean witch and musician, and a Canadian witch with Roma ancestry.
Coven is directed by Rama Rau, and produced by Ed Barreveld and Storyline Entertainment.
“We are over the moon to be working with the incredibly talented and visionary Storyline Entertainment on Coven. With feminine energy at its heart, this trailblazing character driven feature about modern day witches speaks to the zeitgeist and will change perceptions on witchcraft,” said Espresso senior sales and acquisitions executive Jess Reilly in a release.
“We were captivated by director Rama Rau’s energy and creativity in bringing this intriguing, entertaining and empowering story to life. As an all-female sales team who champion women’s stories, we are proud to welcome Coven to our lineup. It is truly a dream project to be distributing and we’re excited to bring this iconic, feminist story to the world.”
Canoe Films on Chumbawamba doc I Get Knocked Down
Canoe Films has boarded international sales for the feature documentary I Get Knocked Down, about the band Chumbawamba, who went from being a tiny anarchist punk band to a chart-topping global phenomenon.
I Get Knocked Down is produced by 2021 BAFTA and Emmy-winner Sophie Robinson (The Surgeon’s Cut, My Beautiful Broken Brain), and co-directed by Robinson and Chumbawamba frontman Dunstan Bruce. The film had its premiere at this year’s Sheffield Doc Fest.
The film is described as a mix of music documentary and character study, a “funny, surreal and deeply human story” about the rise of the band Chumbawumba and its massive hit “Tubthumping,” which hit the top of the music charts in countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and the U.S., as well going top 10 in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK, with the band’s album going quadruple platinum in both the U.S. and Canada. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the group’s global chart-topper.
Canoe will premiere the film at the AFM as part of its slate, which also includes TIFF and Tribeca favorite Underplayed (directed by Stacey Lee), Hot Docs Winner Keyboard Fantasies (directed by Posy Dixon), and the Air Jordan doc One Man and His Shoes (directed by Yemi Bamiro).