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Ex-Constantin chief Jochen Koestler to run Leonine Studios’ factual doc label

From left to right: Jochen Koestler, Janek Romero and Andreas Tuerpe

German production group Leonine Studios is continuing its recent expansion with the creation of new factual label Leonine Documentaries (LD), to be headed up by former Constantin Entertainment MD Jochen Koestler.

The Munich-based company says that the new prodco will expand its non-fiction production pipeline and exploit the growing global demand for premium documentary content.

The roll-out comes just three months after Leonine Studios announced plans to found dedicated animation studio with Toon2Tango founders Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris. Leonine Animation Studios was officially launched in January of this year.

LD will specialise in commercial and popular factual topics, with a particular emphasis on genres such as biopics, portraits and observational documentaries. The freshly minted outfit enhances Leonine’s existing portfolio of non-fiction prodcos, which includes Gebrueder beetz Filmproduktion, and i&u TV.

Koestler takes on the leadership of LD just weeks after being named exec VP of non-fiction at Leonine Studios at the start of January.

That role sees him work alongside Leonine Studios CEO Fred Kogel. The pair are jointly heading the unscripted division for a year before Koestler is scheduled to take sole responsibility in January 2025.

In addition to his exec VP role, Koestler was also named co-MD of Cologne-based i&u TV. The prodco specialises in information and entertainment programmes.

Prior to joining Leonine, Koestler served as MD of Constantin Entertainment, a position he held since 2017.

At the company, he worked on titles including Amazon comedy format Last One Laughing, reality series Germany Shore, K11 – Kommissare im Einsatz for Sat.1, and Darf er das? – Die Chris Tall Show for RTL. He also helped lead and build out Constantin’s documentary division.

At LD, Koestler will work with executive producer Janek Romero and line producer Andreas Tuerpe, with responsibility for the development and production of all LD projects.

The trio have worked on documentaries such as Jan Ullrich – Der Gejagte (Prime Video), Der Anschlag – Angriff Auf Den BVB (Sky), and Schickeria – ALS Munchen Sexy War (Prime Video).

Keostler said: “Leonine Documentaries’ goal is to produce premium commercial documentaries for a broad audience with a perfect blend of information, entertainment and great production value.

“With the new label, we expand Leonine Studios’ premium content portfolio in the non-fiction sector and enhance the outstanding documentary expertise of Leonine’s beetz brothers film production and the strong information programme segment of Leonine’s i&u TV with additional high-potential growth genres in documentaries.

“We’re planning to expand this programme area in line with market demand.”

Romero and Tuerpe said: “Thanks to Leonine Studios’ excellent internal and external network, the strong business relationships with all streamers and broadcasters in Germany and well-known international players, we have a perfect starting point for the realisation of promising stories and will now fully focus on the development and expansion of our production slate.”

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