EXCLUSIVE: UK-based production house Envision Entertainment has significantly expanded its ranks by appointing two key executives.
Former HBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen, who pioneered the U.S. company’s growth into local-language programming, and experienced UK producer David Barron, whose credits include the Harry Potter franchise, have both joined the company to focus on distinct areas.
At Envision, Jensen will seek out and acquire local IP with international potential. She will also spearhead the launch of an investment arm at the company, which will also look to acquire stakes in synergistic media companies across the screen industry in complimentary fields such as publishing, gaming, and animation.
The team told Deadline they would initially focus on territories in CEE and East Asia (where Nakan has specialist knowledge), with plans to quickly expand into high-growth territories such as India, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa.
Envision founder Michael Nakan will work across the new investment arm as well as alongside Barron on the production division, which will continue to manage a slate of international premium projects in English, mixed language, and local languages.
Deadline previously broke the news that Envision has teamed up with leading Japanese multiplatform entertainment company Nippon TV on a joint slate, details of which you can read about here.
Jensen has deep experience in building major international businesses in emerging markets, including helping to launch MTV Russia. During her time at HBO Europe, she worked on titles including Agnieszka Holland’s Czech-language original Burning Bush and international Emmy award winning doc The World According To Ion B. She will remain an Advisor and Board Member for Amediateka, the Russia and CIS home of HBO.
As well as six Harry Potter films, Barron has also produced the likes of Legend of Tarzan, Cinderella, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Jack Ryan. His next feature, Emily, an Emily Brontë biopic starring Sex Education’s Emma Mackey, will be released by Warner Bros next year.
Michael Nakan, Founder and Chief Content Officer of Envision Entertainment, commented: “Linda and David are two incredibly well-respected figures in the global content industry. Having them join the team is a real statement about our ambitions to make Envision a world-leading international production house and IP incubator. Following our recent co-production deal with Nippon TV and the current investment round we are anticipating a period of rapid growth and to quickly become a highly respected producer of global content. We all know that great stories can come from anywhere, even countries without established content industries, and our objective is to build a sustainable catalogue of original and acquired IP in both mature and emerging markets worldwide.”
Linda Jensen Global Head of Investments added: “Global content needs are growing, both for stories and IP, as well as services. Envision is dedicated to meeting these needs by sourcing the best local ideas and assets for growth. I look forward to working with Michael and David as we grow Envision.”
David Barron Global Head of Scripted added: “Market conditions create a huge opportunity to capitalise on our very ambitious plans and I am very excited to be working with Linda and Michael to continue to grow Envision Entertainment.”