Docs

Realscreen’s Global 100: The UK

BLINK FILMS (A Tin Roof Media Company) Headquarters: London, England; Chepstow, Wales www.blinkfilmsuk.com Number of hours produced in 2021: 40 Staff: 60+ (permanent and freelance) Recent projects: Saved by a Stranger (BBC Two); Extraordinary Twins (ITV); ...
April 5, 2022

BLINK FILMS
(A Tin Roof Media Company)

Headquarters: London, England; Chepstow, Wales
www.blinkfilmsuk.com
Number of hours produced in 2021: 40
Staff: 60+ (permanent and freelance)
Recent projects: Saved by a Stranger (BBC Two); Extraordinary Twins (ITV); The Diana Interview: The Truth About the Scandal (Channel 4); Ken and Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes (Discovery+)
Upcoming projects: Best of British by the Sea, The Pile-Up (Channel 4)

kenbarbiekillers

Founded by Dan Chambers and Justine Kershaw in 2007, Blink Films has established a reputation for intelligent, innovative content across myriad non-fiction sub-genres in the last 15 years. Whether it’s investigating the mystery of how ancient Egyptians were able to preserve their pharaohs for millennia through mummifying a modern-day taxi driver in 2012′s BAFTA-winning Mummifying Alan, or attempting to reunite ordinary people who, through the course of fate, endured extraordinary circumstances together in the BBC’s Saved by a Stranger, Blink’s unfailingly creative approach to development and production has won them commissions with scores of major UK and U.S. broadcasters, as well as with global streamers.

In 2020, Blink garnered buzz for its Channel 4 doc Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview, which brought to light revelations around the bombshell interview with Princess Diana for BBC’s ‘Panorama’ in 1995. That information, and the reaction to it, led to the Dyson Inquiry into the affair. In 2021, the prodco followed the story up with The Diana Interview: The Truth About the Scandal.

Last year also proved to be a year of firsts for Blink Films, with its first BBC commission (Saved by a Stranger), its first commission for Science Channel in the U.S. (Strangest Things), and its first commission for Discovery+ (Ken and Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes, pictured above). —Barry Walsh

LIGHTBOX
Headquarters: London, England; Los Angeles, CA
www.lightboxent.com
Number of hours produced in 2021: 20
Staff: 25 (permanent), 50-100 (freelance)
Recent projects: Curse of the Chippendales (Discovery+, Amazon); Tina (HBO); Sophie: A Murder in West Cork (Netflix); Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali (Netflix); SupervillainThe Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine (Showtime); Hip Hop Uncovered (FX); Torn (National Geographic)
Upcoming titles: The Princess (HBO); Return to the Moon (National Geographic)
tina turner

Based out of Los Angeles and London, Lightbox, founded by Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man, Whitney) and his cousin, Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, American High, Whitney), saw a successful 2021, with greater turnover and an expanded customer base despite the difficult circumstances facing the industry.

In 2021, Lightbox delivered series and feature documentaries for Showtime, HBO/HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon, FX, and Sky, and had premieres at Telluride, Sundance and the London Film Festival. Capitalizing on the success of its music-based doc projects such as the Tina Turner doc Tina (pictured above) and Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lightbox struck a partnership deal with Warner Music Entertainment to jointly develop projects for film and television. The company also bolstered its leadership team with the appointment of Alexis Gomez Garcia as VP of development and the promotion of Suzanne Lavery to head of factual.

Other big projects for Lightbox include Curse of the Chippendales for Discovery+ and Amazon Prime, as well as Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali and Sophie: A Murder in West Cork for Netflix. Also look for The Princess, a feature documentary on the life of Princess Diana that will see a theatrical release in 2022 ahead of a premiere on HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. and Sky Documentaries in the UK. —Justin Anderson

NUTOPIA
Headquarters: London, England; Washington DC
www.nutopia.com
Number of hours produced in 2021: 32.5
Staff: 44 (permanent), 122 (freelance)
Recent projects: Welcome to Earth (Disney+); Vendetta: Truth, Lies and the Mafia (Netflix); Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (PBS + BBC)
Upcoming titles: Limitless with Chris Hemsworth (Disney+)
will smith_welcome to earth

Nutopia, founded by former BBC/Discovery/Wall to Wall head exec Jane Root in 2008, has consistently earned a spot in our Global 100 over the years via its growing stable of “mega-docs” — projects that tackle big topics with epic cinematography, dramatic storytelling and A-list talent. That approach was on display once again in 2021, most notably with Welcome to Earth (pictured above) for Disney+/Nat Geo, which reunited the Nutopia team with acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky and actor Will Smith (who both worked with the prodco for Nat Geo’s One Strange Rock). The project saw Smith explore our planet in all of its magnificent, and occasionally dangerous, majesty.

But the company’s penchant for engrossing stories also carried into the true-crime genre with the six-part Netflix series Vendetta: Truth, Lies and the Mafia, which chronicled the tale of a small Italian TV station that dared to defy the Mob. Respected presenters David Olusoga and Steven Johnson explored the history of public health and medical advances in Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer, and the prodco even helped us tap into our inner happy places via the wellness and meditation series A World of Calm for HBO Max, in partnership with the popular app. BW

WALL TO WALL
(A WBITVP Company)
Headquarters: London/Bristol, England
www.walltowall.co.uk/
Number of hours produced in 2021: 59
Staff: 41 (permanent)
Recent projects: Long Lost Family (ITV); Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC); Glow Up (BBC Three)
Upcoming titles: Warrior Island (w/t), Glow Up season four (BBC)

whodoyouthinkyouaredench

A frequent presence on the Global 100 list, London- and Bristol-based Wall to Wall has been a fixture in the unscripted space for decades, with a catalog that includes such ongoing hits as Who Do You Think You Are? (pictured above) and Long Lost Family.

After a strong finish to 2020 with Becoming You, one of the first factual commissions for Apple TV+, Wall to Wall continued to surge through 2021 with new seasons of its above-mentioned standbys as well as a range of new offerings, including the nature series Growing Up Animal for Disney+, the inventive science/science-fiction hybrid Killers of the Cosmos for Discovery+, and the lifestyle/culinary showcase Nadiya’s Fast Flavours and social-issue doc David Baddiel: Social Media, Anger and Us, both for BBC Two.

Kicking off 2022 with the three-part true-crime series The Nilsen Files for BBC Two and the standalone Channel 4 doc Boobs (a cultural history of breast fetishization/sexualization), Wall to Wall is keeping its momentum going with such upcoming projects as series four of the make-up artist competition Glow Up and the new adventure/fitness-challenge format Warrior Island (w/t), both for BBC Three. —Andrew Tracy

MORE UK GLOBAL 100 COMPANIES

72 Films
London, England | www.72films.com
Crime and Punishment; 9/11: One Day in America

Arrow Media
London, England | www.arrowintmedia.com/arrow-media
See No Evil; Mind of a Monster

Bandicoot
(an Argonon Group company)
Glasgow, Scotland | www.bandicoot.tv
The Masked Singer (UK); Peckham’s Finest

Dragonfly
(a Banijay company)
London, England | www.dragonfly.tv
Ambulance; Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power

Fulwell 73
London, England | www.fulwell73.com
All or Nothing: Juventus; Among the Stars

The Garden
(an ITV Company)
London, England | www.thegarden.tv
The Lakes with Simon Reeve; 24 Hours in A&E

Icon Films
Bristol, England | www.iconfilms.co.uk
Mysteries of the Deep with Jeremy Wade;
Unknown Amazon with Pedro Andrade

KEO Films
London, England | www.keofilms.com
Pandemic 2020; Lucy the Human Chimp

Love Productions
(a Sky company)
London, England | www.loveproductions.co.uk
The Great British Bake Off;
Bake Off: The Professionals

Monkey
(a Universal International Studios company)
London, England | www.monkeykingdom.com
Dating No Filter; Don’t Hate the Playaz

October Films
London, England | www.octoberfilms.co.uk
Diana; Secrets, Lies and Private Eyes

Plimsoll Productions
Bristol, England | www.plimsollproductions.com
Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker;
Tiny World

Pulse Films
(a Vice Media company)
London, England | www.pulsefilms.com
Dead Asleep; Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Raw TV
(an All3Media company)
London, England | www.raw.co.uk
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy;
Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport

Silverback Films
(an All3Media company)
Bristol, England | www.silverbackfilms.tv
A Perfect Planet

Studio Lambert
(an All3Media company)
London, England | www.studiolambert.com
The Circle; Race Across the World;
Undercover Big Boss

Talkback
(a Fremantle company)
London, England | www.talkbackproductions.tv
Too Hot to Handle; Harry’s Heroes: The Full English

Twofour Broadcast
(an ITV company)
London, England | www.twofour.co.uk
Bling with Gok Wan; Watercolour Challenge

Windfall Films
(an Argonon Group company)
London, England | www.windfallfilms.com
Attenborough and the Mammoth GraveyardJabbed! Inside Britain’s Vaccine Triumph

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Amos Pictures
London, England | www.amospictures.co.uk
Four Hours at the Capitol

Avalon
London, England | www.avalonu.com
Taskmaster

BBC Studios
London, England | www.bbcstudios.com
Surgeon’s Cut; The Year Earth Changed

Label1
London, England | www.label1.tv
Hospital

Minnow Films
London, England | www.minnowfilms.co.uk
Katie Price: Harvey and Me

Shine TV
(a Banijay company)

London, England | www.shine.tv
Hunted; MasterChef

True Vision Films
London, England | www.truevisiontv.com
The Missing Children; The Man Putin Couldn’t Kill

Zig Zag Productions
London, England | www.zigzag.uk.com
Raise Your Game with Gareth Southgate

To return to the Global 100 home page, click here.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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