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Ex-Woodcut creative chief Derren Lawford launches UK prodco Dare Pictures

Derren Lawford, former creative director at UK indie Woodcut Media, has founded a London-based production company called Dare Pictures.

Derren Lawford

The prodco will produce drama, documentaries, films and podcasts alongside an international network of directors, authors and producers, as well as with contacts in the fashion, music and advertising industries.

The firm’s first slate includes several projects in development with talent from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and North America, with announcements to follow soon.

Lawford was creative director at Woodcut Media for seven years, where he oversaw development and strategy as well as securing commissions, coproductions and programme finance opportunities.

At Woodcut, he executive produced a trio of docs that were sold to Netflix: the BFI-funded feature doc Generation Revolution, as well as Mandela – My Dad & Me and Cut From a Different Cloth, both coproduced with Idris Elba.

His other credits include Fiennes: Return to the Nile, a three-part commission for National Geographic featuring actor Joseph Fiennes and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes; The Ivy; and Football: A Brief History by Alfie Allen.

With more than 25 years’ experience in television, Lawford started his career as a journalist for publications such as The Face and iD before going on to work at pubcaster the BBC for more than a decade, where he helped to launch SVoD service iPlayer.

Lawford then joined social enterprise and marketing agency Livity to launch a content division and worked at London Live as a commissioner specialising in documentaries and breaking new, diverse and online talent.

Lawford said: “Dare Pictures is primed as a new breed of production studio that takes a progressive and transnational approach in uncovering impactful ideas, whilst shining a light on creative talent across multiple cultures and backgrounds from around the world.

“It’s both a bold and boutique approach to developing, producing and financing incredible stories, which is why Dare is positioned as a unique hub where independent and commercial creators can come together united in a commitment to compelling and premium programming with purpose.

“As a company, we stand for diversity, allyship, representation and empowerment and endeavour to reflect those values in everything we do.”


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