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McMafia case study at Content London

The inside story of McMafia, the highly anticipated AMC/BBC/Cuba Pictures copro, created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins and directed by Watkins will be unravelled in a one-hour case study at Content London.

The eight-part mini-series was inspired by the 2008 book of the same name by journalist Misha Glenny and stars James Norton as the British-raised son of a Russian mafia boss trying to escape the ties of organised crime.

It is a coproduction between BBC One, AMC and Cuba Pictures and will air in 2018.

We hear how the project was created, packaged, financed and is being produced.


“Pat”Hossein Amini

Hossein Amini is a film writer who was nominated for an Oscar for his adaptation of Henry James’ classic novel Wings of a Dove, which starred Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roach and Alison Elliott.

He has also written Jude, starring Kate Winslet and Christopher Ecclestone, which won the Edinburgh Film festival prize for Best British Film, and has worked on Gangs of New York, starring Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo di Caprio, as well as The Four Feathers with Heath Ledger.

In 2011 he wrote the screenplay for Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Film at the BAFTAs 2012.

In 2014 Hossein made his directorial debut with his own adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January, starring Vigo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac.
He is currently working on McMafia and The Alienist for Paramount.

“Pat”James Watkins

James Watkins directed the box office sensation The Woman In Black, the most successful British horror film since records began.

He made his directing debut with the critically acclaimed thriller Eden Lake. Described by The Guardian as ‘the best British horror film in years’, it won the Empire Award for Best Horror, the Jury Prize at Sitges Fantasy Film Festival and Best Director at Fantasporto.

Between 2001-2007 James had a first-look writing deal with Working Title Films. Under this deal, he wrote several scripts including: My Little Eye, a dark satire on the world of reality television, which was released theatrically in the UK in 2002 to critical acclaim and commercial success. James has also written screenplays for Warner Bros, Pathe, Film Four, and BBC Films. He is writer and director on McMafia.

“Pat”Nick Marston
CEO and executive producer, Cuba Pictures

Nick Marston joined Curtis Brown in 1997 and throughout his years of being an agent has built a list comprising of some of the UKs biggest talent. In 2008 he became the CEO and executive producer at Cuba Pictures, the aim of the company being to utilise the strength of Curtis Brown’s talent to create high quality film and television.

Since its inception Nick has produced Boy A starring Andrew Garfield, adapted by Mark O’Rowe and directed by John Crowley and Broken, Rufus Norris’ directorial debut, also written by Mark O’Rowe, featuring Tim Roth, Rory Kinnear and Cillian Murphy.

2015 saw the release of Coalition written by James Graham and directed by Alex Holmes for Channel 4, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for BBC One, adapted by Peter Harness from the Susanna Clarke novel and directed by Toby Haynes, London Road the film adaptation of the National Theatre showdirected by Rufus Norris, which opened with 5 star reviews from both The Guardian and Time Out, and David Farr’s directorial debut with his script The Ones Below. Nick was an Executive Producer on all these projects.

Cuba Pictures also produced with a 3-part thriller, Paula, for BBC2 written by Conor McPherson, directed by Alex Holmes. The show starred Denise Gough and Tom Hughes and aired in May 2017. The company is currently in post-production with McMafia.

“Pat”Helen Jackson 
Chief content officer, BBC Worldwide

Helen is the Chief Content Officer at BBC Worldwide. She drives the creative and commercial vision for BBC Worldwide’s Content strategy covering partnerships, development, co-production and acquisition activity. At the heart of this strategy is championing the best of British production and writing talent combined with innovative funding models and partnerships. Through a culture of strong business support, speed of response and creative freedom the company has deepened partnerships with some of the UK’s best independent producers including Baby Cow, Clerkenwell, Drama Republic, Lookout Point, Greenbird, 72 Films, House Productions, Original Talent (Cuba and Curtis Brown), Two Cities, Various Artists and Expectation Entertainment. Over the last three years, BBC Worldwide’s annual investment into Content has averaged £180m.

“Pat”Elizabeth Kilgarrif
Senior commissioning editor for drama, England & Scotland, BBC

Liz Kilgarriff is a Senior commissioning editor for BBC Drama in England and Scotland.

Liz joined the BBC as a Commissioning Editor in August 2015 and has been responsible for work across the breadth and range of BBC Drama including the adaptation of BBC One’s Strike series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, BBC One Sunday night fan favourites Call The Midwife and Poldark, Mike Bartlett’s Doctor Foster (series 2), The Last Kingdom, Death in Paradise and BBC3’s innovative new short form drama series, Overshadowed.

Liz’s upcoming dramas include epic new BBC One drama McMafia, an adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, Hard Sun from Luther creator Neil Cross, Age Before Beauty from Debbie Horsfield, Kay Mellor’s Love, Lies and Records, Peter Straughan’s adaptation of The Three, Richard Warlow and Tom Shankland’s The Serpent, 6-part thriller series Informer from upcoming writers Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani – and a new 4-part series of award-winning Luther.

Also recently announced from her Scottish slate is psychological drama The Cry, adapted from the Helen FitzGerald novel – and a contemporary legal thriller, The Victim.  
Liz was previously Executive Producer for BBC in-house Drama working on titles including Luther,
BBC3’s Thirteen, Cranford, Tess of the D’Urbervillesand Upstairs Downstairs. She was promoted to Senior Commissioning Editor for England and Scotland in May 2017.

Content London has sold out for the past two years.

TIER 1 & TIER 2 tickets have already sold out.
TIER 3 tickets are currently available priced at £799.


The International Drama Summit is the most significant gathering of the global scripted community in the calendar. More than 1200 executives come together to share new projects, discuss coproduction opportunities, hear from the world's leading players and engage around an unrivalled programme of screenings, conferences, awards and much more. This year we move to the award-winning Kings Place venue, with improved facilities, meeting space catering and a host of new session formats, premieres and networking events.

Content London opens with registration and a premiere screening on Sunday November 26, with the three-day event following on November 27/28/29. Be Part of The Story!

For full information on Content London CLICK HERE.

Confirmed Content London speakers include:

Elizabeth Bradley
Vice president of content
Kari Skogland
Director & showrunner
Piv Bernth
Head of drama
Beth Willis
Head of drama
Channel 4
Sofia Helin
Executive producer and co-creator
Jane Featherstone
Sister Pictures
Piers Wenger
Controller of drama
Wayne Garvie
President, international production
Sony Pictures Television
David Morrissey
Actor, director
Karen Bailey
Senior vice president, original programming
Kate Harwood
Managing director
Euston Films
Rachel Nelson
Director of original content
Corus Entertainment
Jessica K. Scott
Director, content development
Francesca Orsi
EVP, co-head of drama programming
Helen Jackson
Chief content officer
BBC Worldwide
John Morayniss
Co-president, film, television and digital
Entertainment One
Katie O’Connell Marsh
Platform One Media
Nick Marston
CEO and executive producer
Cuba Pictures
Fanny Rondeau
Director of fiction
France 2
Anna Croneman
Head of drama
SVT Sweden
Steve November
Creative director
Lionsgate, UK TV
Tom Hastings
Director, drama, original programming
Bell Media
Tony Grisoni
Screenwriter and director
Sally Catto
General manager, programming
Patrick Irwin
Executive producer
87 Films
Henrik Pabst
Managing director
Red Arrow International
Olivier Wotling
Director of fiction
ARTE France
Eleonora Andreatta
Rai Fiction
Jarmo Lampela
Head of drama
YLE Finland
Caroline Benjo
Managing director
Haut et Court TV
Philipp Steffens
Head of fiction
RTL Television GmbH
Ruth Berry
Managing director
ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Preethi Mavahalli
Executive producer
The City and The City
Nick Betts
Director of scripted
BBC Studios
Simon Vaughan
Chairman and joint CEO
Lookout Point
Avril Blondelot
Director of content insight
Eurodata TV Worldwide
Paul Youngbluth
TAPE Services
Walter Iuzzolino
Chief creative officer
Walter Presents / Global Series Network
Simon Maxwell
Head of international drama
Channel 4
Chris Rice
Endeavor Content
Harry Williams
Writer and MD
Two Brothers Pictures
Jack Williams
Writer and MD
Two Brothers Pictures
Ross Crowley
Director of content
Miguel Salvat
Commissioning editor of original programming
HBO España
Sue Masters
Head of scripted
SBS Australia
Graeme Mason
Screen Australia
Elizabeth Kilgarriff
Senior commissioning editor for BBC Drama
BBC England & Scotland
Aron Levitz
Head of Wattpad Studios
Hossein Amini
Screen writer
Sophie Gardiner
Head of drama
Playground Entertainment
David Taylor
Playmaker Media
David Maher
Playmaker Media
Jack Davison
Managing consultant
Polly Williams
VP, scripted development, television
Entertainment One
Sarah Doole
Director of global drama
Jeremy Fox
Founder and CEO
Atrium TV
Javier Mendez
Head of content
Andy Ryan
Co-head of drama
Nine Network Australia
Agyness Deyn
Hard Sun
Jim Sturgess
Hard Sun
Dan Isaacs
Sister Pictures
Luis Santamaría
Executive producer and director
Boomerang TV
Kjartan Thor Thordarson
Sagafilm Nordic
Tony Wood
Buccaneer Media
David Flynn
Youngest Media
Pilar Perez Roel
Head of acquisitions
DCD Rights
Nicky Davies Williams
DCD Rights
Sally Riley
Head of scripted production
Geoffrey Wright
Director and writer
James Watkins
David Mortimer
Director of content
Tinopolis Group
Stephen Lambert
Studio Lambert
Ed Sayer
Head of original commissioning
Discovery Networks International
Hamish Mykura
EVP programming and development
National Geographic Global Networks
Lilla Hurst
Joint managing director
Tim Crescenti
Small World IFT
Sam Barcroft
Barcroft Media
Olli Suominen
Rabbit Films
Simon Andreae
Naked Entertainment
Keren Shahar
COO and president of distribution
Keshet International
Patricia Hidalgo
Chief content officer
Turner EMEA and International Kids Strategy
Jo Allen
Acquisitions producer
Lucy Murphy
Director of Kids’ Content
Sky UK
David Schweitzer
Lauren Child
Author, illustrator and Children's Laureate
Tom Beattie
Head of kids and animation
Tiger Aspect Productions
Kay Benbow
Amanda Stavri
Commissioning editor
Andy Cadman
Executive producer
Love Island
Mike Beale
Managing director
Nordics & Global Creative Network, ITV Studios
Robert Hammerstingl
Executive producer
ITV Studios Germany
Tendeka Matatu
CEO / producer
Ten10 Films
Atar Dekel
Head of scripted global coproductions
Keshet International
Nick Forward
Chief content officer
Justin Thomson
Artists Studio
Alison Kirkham
Controller, factual commissioning
Rola Bauer
Managing director
Studiocanal TV GmbH
Lawrence Elman
Andrew Zein
SVP creative, format development & sales
Warner Bros. International TV Production
Nina Hahn
SVP, international production & development
Sue Goffe
Managing director & head of production
Studio AKA
Antoine Cayrol
Atlas 5
Tracey Robertson
Nicola Shindler
Executive producer
RED Production Company
Mark Joseph
Managing director
Tom Clifford
Kim Shillinglaw
Director of factual
Endemol Shine UK
CJ Fahey
General manager
Eloise King
Digital programming executive & I-D global executive producer
Morten Skov Hansen
Programme and channel director
DR Ramasjang & DR Ultra
Jill Green
Chief executive
Eleventh Hour Films
Harriet Newby-Hill
Global brand director, children's
BBC Worldwide
Daniel Lennard
Executive producer
The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe
Marc Goodchild
Head of digital content strategy & product
Turner EMEA
Christian Boving-Andersen
The Heroic Quest of The Valiant Prince Ivandoe
Alexandra Rapaport
Executive producer and co-creator
Anja Lundqvist
Executive producer and actor
Helena Danielsson
Operating executive producer
Brain Academy
Julia Dufvenius
Executive producer and co-creator
Martin Haines
Chief operating officer
Randel Bryan
Managing director
Gunpowder & Sky International
Jon Cassar
Director and executive producer
Robert Vargas
Executive producer
Nella the Princess Knight
Oli Hyatt
Managing director
Blue Zoo Animation
Chris Rose
Director of development and production
Beano Studios
Selma Turajlic
Little Dot Studios
Ismael Calleja
Head of business affairs
Amelie Von Kienlin
SVP scripted acquisitions & co-productions
Red Arrow International
Caroline Torrance
Head of scripted
Banijay Rights
Moritz Polter
Executive producer international TV series
Bavaria Fiction
Liam Keelan
Global editorial director
BBC Worldwide
Melanie Stokes
Joint managing director
Kindle Entertainment
Jocelyn Hamilton
President - Canada, television
Entertainment One
Rosalie Swedlin
Producer and literary manager
Anonymous Content
Kristin Jones
Senior vice president, international programming
AMC and SundanceTV
Charlie Pattinson
New Pictures
Jens Richter
FremantleMedia International
Luca Bernabei
Executive producer & CEO
Lux Vide
Neil Cross
Writer & showrunner
Hard Sun
Alon Aranya
Partner and executive producer
Scripted World
Michael Ellenberg
Media Res
Moritz von Kruedener
Managing director
Beta Film GmbH
Cathy Payne
Endemol Shine International
Jan Mojto
Beta Film (World Sales)
Michael Prupas
Executive producer & CEO
Muse Entertainment Enterprises
Richard Speer
Attraction Média
Steve Dorrance
Head of animation
Jellyfish Picutres
Lila Rawlings
Executive producer
Left Bank Pictures
Jan Diedrichsen
SundanceTV and Sundance Now
Genevieve Dexter
Founder & CEO
Serious Lunch
Jamie Payne
Co-executive producer
The Alienist
Frédérik Rangé
Director of acquisitions
Lagardère Studios Distribution
Jarkko Hentula
Head of feature films
Yellow Film & TV
Kristiina Werner
Head of international business development
Zodiak Finland
Mikko Silvennoinen
Independent media entrepreneur
Jeff Norton
Myar Craig Brown
Executive producer, drama
Wall to Wall
Ingo Monitor
Director, producer, writer
Mocka Monitor
Jan Mocka
Producer, director, writer
Mocka Monitor
Iris Bucher
Sabine Chemaly
EVP of int’l sales and coproductions
TF1 Studio
Rachel Glaister
EVP brands and press
all3media international
Stephen Driscoll
Executive vice president EMEA
all3media international
Bruce M. Smith
Producer and writer
James Payne
The Window
Rolant Hergert
The Window
Cathal Gaffney
Managing director
Brown Bag Films
Greg Phillips
President of distribution
Kew Media Group
Thao Hoang
Head of distribution & partnerships
DEFY Media
Jens Hulten
Hakon Moslet
Head of TV & executive producer
NRK's Youth Department & Skame/Shame
Ekin Gabay
Sales director
Global Agency
Ian Whitehead
Head of production and development
Jo Clinton-Davis
Controller of factual
Melanie Leach
Chief executive
Lorenzo De Maio
Endeavor Content
Rory Aitken
David Bouchier
Chief digital entertainment officer
Virgin Media
Robert Franke
Vice president, ZDFE.drama
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Jonas Kryger
Commissioning editor
DR Ramasjang and DR Ultra
Louise Pedersen
all3media international
Vanessa Chapman
Managing director
VJC Media
David Cormican
Brian Hamilton
Principal and executive producer
Karoline Leth
Jaimie D’Cruz
Creative director
Frank Spotnitz
Executive producer and CEO
Big Light Productions
Kathryn Busby
SVP of development
Sony Pictures TV Networks
John Edwards
Kate Little
Joint managing director
Lime Pictures
Rebecca Hodgson
Head of drama
Lime Pictures
Colton Tanner
Night House
Mentored by: Lloyd Segan, Piller Segan
David Chidlow
Dark Lanes
Mentored by: Simon Mirren, Showrunner
Michele Giannusa
Mentored by: Michael Perry, Writer
Nadine Nonn
Mentored by: Anna Winger, Screenwriter and novelist
Paul Roberts
The Bloody North
Mentored by: Bryan Elsley, MD & writer, Balloon Entertainment
Ryan Brown
The After
Mentored by: Chris Lunt, Screenwriter
Adrian Wootton
Film London
Oystein Karlsen
Writer & director
Anders Tangen
Luke Eve
Writer/ director & executive producer
More Sauce
Nina Etspueler
Executive vice president creative operations
Red Arrow Entertainment Group
Sydney Gallonde
Executive producer & CEO
Make It Happen Studio
Simon Cornwell
Co-founder & co-CEO
The Ink Factory
Pat Younge
Managing director
Sugar Films
Rachel do Valle
Executive manager
Brazilian Content
Roberto D’Ávila
Moonshot Pictures
Dan Korn
Vice president programming
A+E Networks UK
Stefan Kreutzer
Business development manager
Remote Control Productions
Andrew Eastel
Creative director
Francesco Bernabei
Digital director
Think | Cattleya
Lina Brounéus
COO content
Jamie Lynn
EVP, head of EMEA distribution
Julie Lacey
VP, creative
Peter A. Sussman
Founder & chairman
Kew Media Group
Jon Wax
Head of drama series & movies
YouTube Originals
Anna McCleery
Co-creator and writer
Free Rein
Vicki Lutas
Co-creator and writer
Free Rein
Chris Symes
Executive producer
The Alienist
Gilles Galud
Managing director
Studio Plus Vivendi
Hannes Heyelmann
Senior VP and managing director, central & eastern europe
Marisa Clifford
Co-founder & CEO
Pulse Films (UK and Europe)
Eduardo Piagge
Executive producer and cinematographer
Boutique Filmes
Boris Starling
Award-winning novelist, screenwriter & journalist
Diane Banks
Literary agent
Diane Banks Associates
Gavin James Bower
Author, journalist, senior lecturer
Cathryn Summerhayes
Literary agent
Curtis Brown
Anne Mensah
Head of drama
Steye Hallema
Director, composer & inventor
Jocelyn Diaz
EVP original programming
Jakob Verbruggen
Director and executive producer
The Alienist
Viv Groskop 2
Comedian & Guardian TV critic
Richard Kilgarriff
Editorial director & founder
Cat Lewis
CEO & executive producer
Nine Lives Media
Lindsay Watson
Animation producer
CANUK Productions
Anna Rafferty
Director of digital marketing
Birgitta Wannstrom
Matt Graff
Managing director
Zig Zag Productions, UK
Sophie Leveaux
Director of acquisitions
Chris Castallo
Head of development
David Farr
Electric Dreams
Virginia Rankin
Executive producer
Sphere Media Plus
Anand Tucker
Joint CEO
7 Stories
Adrian Lester
Marc Evans
Catherine Oldfield
Creative Director
Tall Story Pictures
Federico Llano
Head of international co-productions
Hilary Salmon
Executive producer
BBC Studios
Stephen Mowbray
Head of international