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British documentary maker Louis Theroux’s production company, Mindhouse Productions, has secured a first-look distribution deal with BBC Studios.
The arrangement marks a return for Theroux (My Scientology Movie), who left the BBC’s commercial arm just last year to set up the independent banner alongside his executive producer Arron Fellows and TV director Nancy Strang, with the aim of to tackling thought-provoking and complex subjects, some with Theroux attached onscreen.
At the time, Netflix and Amazon were being eyed as potential suitors for Theroux, who has a two decade-plus history on British screens, famously spending time with the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile, later accused of underage sexual abuse.
The two-year deal will see BBC Studios became Mindhouse’s first-look distributor and financing partner for its future slate.
Theroux describes the new venture and the BBC Studios deal as a “dream come true.”
“The idea is to tell stories with nuance, compassion and playfulness,” he says. “Some programs commissioned from Mindhouse, I will present, but for others I will have an off-camera role. And that, for me, is the most exciting part of this new venture: the idea of building a team and putting an array of different new voices and talents onscreen.”
Theroux adds: “To have the backing of BBC Studios gives us a great deal of confidence and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching this new phase of my professional life.”
Adds Fellows: “Louis and I have worked together for nearly three years and our aim has been to use intelligence and humor to explore complex subjects. In founding Mindhouse, our ambition is to build on that track record and nurture new filmmaking talent.”
Strang is leading Mindhouse Productions’ development strategy across a range of different broadcasters and platforms in the U.K. and the U.S., working with newly appointed head of production, Sophie Ardern, who joined from October Films.
“Louis has enjoyed a long partnership with BBC Studios, including distributing his programming around the world for nearly 25 years,” says Strang. “To have this continue along with our broader commissions is a testament both to the relationship that Arron and Louis have built with BBC Studios and also Studios’ confidence in our ability to deliver engaging content outside of Louis’ own projects.”
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