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The Ink Factory ups Michele Wolkoff to creative director after Katherine Butler’s exit

London- and LA-based production company The Ink Factory has promoted Michele Wolkoff to creative director to replace Katherine Butler, who departed over the summer.

Michele Wolkoff

With the promotion, Wolkoff, who was formerly head of film and TV in LA, will oversee the company’s global slate of development and production. She will continue to be based in LA.

The Ink Factory has also upped Ian Spence to head of finance and operations.

The appointments come after the company secured a round of financing with investors Fifth Season (formerly known as Endeavor Content) and 127 Wall. The Ink Factory is led by co-CEOs Stephen and Simon Cornwell, the sons of late author John le Carré, whose works the company has adapted in the past.

Its current slate includes the Korean-language TV drama The Plotters, an adaptation of Un-su Kim’s novel of the same name with Pachinko showrunner Soo Hugh attached as creator and executive producer.

Also in development is an adaptation of Ghanian-American author Yasmin Angoe’s thriller novel Her Name is Knight; War Doctor, a film based on British trauma surgeon David Nott’s memoir of working in conflict zones; and an adaptation of C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold with Anita Gou’s company Kindred Spirit.

Ian Spence

Stephen Cornwell said: “Michele’s curatorial flair and drive to champion projects is a fantastic asset to the company, and we’re thrilled to have her stepping up as creative director, leading the teams across Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Seoul.

“Our current slate encompasses adaptations from singular new literary voices like C Pam Zhang and masters of genre such as Un-su Kim. Michele brings a new approach to our work on John le Carré’s legacy through adaptations which build on his incredible storytelling in fresh and unexpected ways.”

Simon Cornwell added: “Both Stephen and I would like to thank Katherine for her work with us over the past couple of years and wish her every success in her next chapter.

“We’re at an exhilarating time in the business and Ian Spence’s steady guidance has been a cornerstone of our ongoing success, so his promotion is both fitting and well deserved. He joins a transatlantic senior leadership team alongside Michele, which also includes Tessa Inkelaar leading on our Asia slate supported by the BFI and 127 Wall.”

Before joining The Ink Factory in 2020, Wolkoff was the head of development at Stephen Garrett’s production company Character 7. During her time at the company, she identified the book Culprits: The Heist was Just the Beginning, and now serves as a co-executive producer on its upcoming series adaptation for Disney+. Before that, she was with The Mark Gordon Company.

Spence previously worked for Entertainment One in its film production and international sales division.

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