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The Story Collective invests in UK prodcos Artis Pictures and Maia Pictures

Fifth Season-backed The Story Collective in the UK has invested in local scripted production companies Artis Pictures and Maia Pictures.

Kate Croft

The investments, financial details of which were not disclosed, are the first made by The Story Collective, which was established to back both script development and early-stage scripted prodcos.

The company will provide strategic, commercial and operational support, as well as development funding, to Artis Pictures, which is led by led by drama producer Kate Croft, and Maia Pictures, helmed by ex-Channel 4 commissioner Rachel Springett.

Formerly known as The Story Company and launched in 2021 with the backing of Fifth Season (fka Endeavor Content), The Story Collective was set up by Damian Keogh, Helen Jackson and Simon Vaughan.

Former Lookout Point MD Keogh is CEO, while Jackson, former BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios) content chief, and Lookout Point founder Vaughan are co-chairs.

Also on the board are chief financial officer Natasha Neill and non-executive directors Jonathan Norman, MD at global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, and Chris Rice, co-CEO of Fifth Season.

The Story Collective’s first scripted commission is A Thousand Blows (working title), starring and executive produced by Stephen Graham (This is England, Boiling Point) for Disney+. The 12-part series comes from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight.

Croft established Artis Pictures to produce premium drama series in partnership with showrunner executive producers, originating content out of the UK for the international market.

The firm previously had a first-look deal with Lookout Point and BBC Worldwide, followed by a co-development/production deal with BBC Studios, where they produced new talent strand The Break for the BBC.

Rachel Springett

Artis’s first longform series was period fashion saga The Collection, created by Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars) and directed by Dearbhla Walsh (Bad Sisters). The show was produced for Amazon’s Prime Video and France Télévisions.

Maia Pictures, meanwhile, is a comedy and drama production company set up in 2019 by Springett, who commissioned first-time writers and helped launch the careers of the likes of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Crashing), Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum), Mae Martin (Feel Good) and Nida Manzoor (We Are Lady Parts).

Before her time at Channel 4, Springett also produced Toast of London, written by Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews, and Peep Show, written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.

Keogh said: “We are excited to partner with Kate’s and Rachel’s brilliantly creative and distinctive companies, and look forward to working with them to bring their carefully curated shows to life. Both are passionate about the material they develop and work in a hugely nurturing and supportive way with their writers.

Springett added: “I am thrilled to join forces with The Story Collective, a truly exciting global content studio whose founders are some of the most talented creatives and commercially experienced executives in the industry. I look forward to making some incredible shows together.”

Croft said: “When it comes to curating shows and supporting creatives through production, it’s all about vision, tenacity and passion, something The Story Collective fully understands. Simon and Damian are longstanding colleagues, creative, fearless, and powerful advocates in the business of entertainment. I am excited to be collaborating with them again.”

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