The UK Creative Content EIS Fund has invested in Raindog Films, the UK-based production company co-founded by Oscar®-winning actor Colin Firth and music industry veteran Ged Doherty.
The announcement was made by the Fund’s manager, Calculus Capital, and Stargrove Pictures. Writer and producer Trish D Chetty joins the new-look company to oversee the strategic expansion into high-end small screen content.
Firth and Doherty established Raindog Films in 2012 and subsequently produced an award-winning slate of premium filmed entertainment. Recent projects include Official Secrets directed by Gavin Hood, starring Keira Knightley and Matt Smith, which opened to critical acclaim; Loving, directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga for which she earned an Oscar® nomination and Eye in the Sky, directed by Gavin Hood and featuring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul.
The new investment will facilitate Raindog Films’ ambitious plans to expand into TV drama, music content and documentaries. Writer/producer and award-winning researcher Trish D Chetty joins Colin and Ged to implement the company’s growth plans and commitment to identify new writing, directing and production talent.
Colin Firth said: “The BFI works tirelessly to champion and support independent film and the wider UK screen industries, creating opportunities to train and develop new talent, to discover new voices and to ensure the highest ethical standards. We are delighted to receive investment from the UK Creative Content Fund which, although it operates independently, was an initiative of the BFI and its board”
Ged Doherty added: “We value our independence more than anything and this investment will allow us the freedom to develop little known extraordinary stories and to help them find a global audience with the right partners. We are thrilled that Trish is joining us as she will bring a fresh perspective to everything we do.”
Commenting on her appointment and new role Trish D Chetty said: “I have always admired the films that Raindog make, each one of their films is bold and ambitious and the diversity of their work speaks for itself. I am excited to be joining Colin and Ged at this key stage of the company’s development.”
Stargrove Pictures, whose team have overseen over £1bn of investments in the creative industries, was instrumental in identifying the opportunity to invest. As part of the deal, Stargrove Pictures CEO Stephen Fuss will join the board of Raindog Films.
The UK Creative Content EIS Fund is run by private equity house Calculus Capital, which launched the UK’s first approved EIS fund over 20 years ago, with film/TV finance specialists Stargrove Pictures. It was launched last year in association with the British Film Institute (BFI), which as a charity has no financial interest in the fund but initiated the project to help UK producers exploit the growing opportunity fuelled by the rise of new era broadcasters like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
John Glencross, Chief Executive at Calculus Capital, said: “Colin, Ged and Trish form a powerful and incredibly talented team. Raindog has already established itself as a leading producer of important films. We were particularly attracted to the team’s commitment to strong story telling in both drama and documentary. They have impeccable connections, which means they can attract the best actors, writers and directors, which is fundamental to the success of the projects they’re working on and ultimately to the business.”
Stephen Fuss, CEO of Stargrove Pictures added: “What’s exciting about this deal for us is the expansion into TV and the plans to leverage Ged’s music industry experience and Trish’s ability to seek out and tell strong factual stories. The appetite and market for quality content has never been stronger, and there’s a particular interest at the moment in music-focused films and documentaries. When you see the calibre of the productions Raindog has in the pipeline already, and the names attached to them, you’ll understand why we’re so excited about this investment.”