'Searching for Sugar Man' Producer Passion Pictures Names New CEO

Passion Pictures
Nick Southgate

Nick Southgate, the ex-Shed Group CEO, replaces John Battsek, who left the U.K.-based indie to launch Ventureland.

Two-time Oscar-winning banner Passion Pictures (One Day in September, Searching for Sugar Man) has named Nick Southgate as its new CEO.

Southgate, the ex-Shed Group CEO turned media investor, replaces John Battsek, who left London-based Passion Pictures after two decades earlier this year to help launch Ventureland as a Los Angeles- and London-based film and TV company.

Passion Pictures founder Andrew Ruhemann moves to the post of chairman while continuing to creatively lead the indie producer. Battsek co-founded Passion Pictures Films in 1999 with Ruhemann, and together they also produced documentaries like Restrepo and Winter on Fire.

Southgate served as CEO of Shed Media, whose shows included The Voice U.K. and Supernanny, until it was renamed Warner Bros. Television Productions UK in 2014. He also co-founded Imagine Capital along with music exec James Sealey. Southgate will remain a partner at Imagine.

"For many years I’ve admired Passion. To consistently produce outstanding work in three different disciplines, animation, feature docs and natural history, is pretty unique. Personally, I’m really looking forward to re-engaging creatively, and I’m honored to be joining such an exceptional group of people," Southgate said in a statement.

Passion Pictures has studios in London, Paris, Barcelona and Melbourne. Besides commercial advertising, the company works in longform animation for Netflix, Marvel, Disney and Nickelodeon, with credits like Love, Death and Robots: Zima Blue and the series 101 Dalmatian Street and Lego City.

Recent feature documentary credits include The Australian Dream, Circus of Books and Sid & Judy.