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Bristow resurfaces with content fund

Former CBC exec and Bristow Global Media (BGM) CEO Julie Bristow has resurfaced with a new development and investment vehicle focusing on female stories and storytellers.

Julie Bristow

The Content Catalyst Fund (CCF) aims to finance and develop stories made through a female lens. Based in Canada but with an international reach, it will develop and invest in unscripted and scripted content, with an initial focus on unscripted.

It will help female creators to find an audience for their work by investing both funds and end-to-end strategic support in viable female-led projects.

Bristow, long-time head of unscripted programming at Canadian pubcaster the CBC, launched BGM in 2013 to create, package and produce multi-genre, multiplatform content for the international market.

In 2017, Kew Media Group acquired BGM, but Bristow departed and the company was subsequently bought by Quebec-based Datsit Sphere in late 2019 following Kew’s financial collapse.

Prior to founding BGM, Bristow was the executive director of studio and unscripted content at CBC Television, where she helped to create and monetise many of the pubcaster’s most successful programmes, including Dragons’ Den.

Her international credits as a global executive producer include 100 Days to Victory (Foxtel, BBC Scotland, History), 9/11: Control the Skies (National Geographic International, Bell Media) and Canada: The Story of Us (CBC).

Mona Minhas

Bristow has brought in long-time colleague and collaborator Mona Minhas as chief financial officer. Minhas previously served as VP of finance at Rogers Communications, where she oversaw the financial management of the Canadian communications giant’s media division.

For the past few years, Minhas has also provided financial and business-strategy support to several high-growth technology, e-commerce and media ventures.

Bristow said: “There are no end of amazing female creators out there and no end of audiences hungry for stories told through the female lens. The problem is women working in the content industry do not enjoy the same access to influence and capital, despite market data proving conclusively that female-driven content is profitable.

“The CCF intends to change that. We believe there has never been a better time to rethink and redesign the way women make content for women. At the CCF, content will always be queen.”

The CCF has been seeded by Bristow and a small circle of like-minded investors. In the first instance, the fund will invest in a pipeline of original IP from female creators, while helping to finance the development of promising projects. The longer-term objective is to find projects with the potential for equity investment.

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