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BBCWW launches £150m high-end drama fund

Scripted-logo-460_2Top of the Lake: China GirlBBC Worldwide has teamed with film and TV financier Anton to create a £150 million (US$188 million) fund for high-end drama projects.

The aim of The Drama Investment Partnership (DIP) is to back big-ticket returning series with named talent attached. Worldwide pointed to the new instalment of Sundance copro Top of the Lake (pictured), which stars Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman as an example of the type of show the fund will help finance.

The announcement was made this morning and follows from another funding initiative, Benchmark, on which Worldwide has partnered with Danny Cohen’s Access Entertainment. With both initiatives underway, Worldwide said it has greater financial firepower in the scripted space and can get titles into production faster.

Anton and Worldwide will cofund projects and the commercial arm of the BBC will then sell series resulting from DIP internationally and said it expects a slate with a production value exceeding £150 million within three years.

Anton is a Europe-based film and TV company founded by Sébastien Raybaud and which has invested in feature titles including Shaun the Sheep, Legend, Paddington and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy.

“With The Drama Investment Partnership, we are actively bringing new funding opportunities to the market, consistent with our history of pioneering financing and partnership deals,” said Tim Davie, CEO, BBC Worldwide.

“We are delighted to welcome Anton as our partner for The Drama Investment Partnership, and are confident that the new funds will unlock greater opportunities for content makers and commissioners to ensure the very best of British drama continues to be made for audiences across the world.”

Sébastien Raybaud, CEO, Anton, added: “In a market flooded with content, it has become critical to stand out. This is why we are backing BBC Worldwide’s strategy to target ambitious high-end drama. With its brand, reach and commitment to high quality content, BBC Worldwide is well positioned to offer talent an attractive home for large budget series.