People/Biz

Blue Ant International acquires 100% ownership of Drive Media Rights

Global distribution group Blue Ant International has acquired complete ownership of UK-based production financing and distribution firm Drive Media Rights. Drive’s managing directors, Ben Barrett (pictured, right) and Lilla Hurst (pictured, left), will ...
June 6, 2022

Global distribution group Blue Ant International has acquired complete ownership of UK-based production financing and distribution firm Drive Media Rights.

Drive’s managing directors, Ben Barrett (pictured, right) and Lilla Hurst (pictured, left), will now join Blue Ant International as global head of content financing & partnerships and global head of acquisitions & partnerships, respectively.

Barrett and Hurst will continue to operate from London, and report to Solange Attwood (pictured, center), Blue Ant International EVP.

“As the media ecosystem evolves, a distribution partner that can bring meaningful financing, allowing our partners to realize their creative ambitions, is paramount. Our combined expertise and relationships with Ben and Lilla should help our partners to do more of just that,” Blue Ant International EVP Solange Attwood said.

Drive, a production funding (pre-sale) house, launched in 2013 and evolved into a 360° global funding, sales and distribution business. With Blue Ant International, the company will continue to offer a full range of commercial services, working with producers globally to get their projects funded, produced and distributed.

As part of the deal, Blue Ant International has acquired Drive Media Rights’ library of more than 900 hours of content, which consists mostly of unscripted programming with genres spanning documentary, history, science, crime, lifestyle and paranormal. This will grow Blue Ant International’s offering to nearly 5,000 hours of programming.

Drive’s roster of production clients include October Films, Oxford Films, Blink Films, Air TV and Future Studios.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we and our team have achieved with Drive over the last nine years, and we’re excited to become part of a larger organization,” Barrett and Hurst said in a joint statement. “Blue Ant Media consists of top-quality content producers, established channels and a thriving distribution business, all of which will provide new levels of opportunity and relationships, allowing us to seamlessly grow the combined business.”

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.

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