Passion Pictures, the U.K.-based indie producer of animation and documentaries, has appointed Nick Southgate as its CEO.
Here are the details:
- Southgate formerly led the British tv production company Shed Media, which was bought out by Time Warner in 2010 and subsequently renamed Warner Bros. Television Productions U.K. He also co-founded media investor Imagine Capital, where he will remain a partner.
- As Passion CEO, he replaces John Battsek, who left in January to launch film and tv production company Ventureland (based in London and L.A.). Battsek co-founded Passion Pictures Films, the company’s feature documentary arm, with Andrew Ruhemann in 1999. Ruhemann, who remains at Passion, will continue to creatively lead the company as its new chairman.
- As a documentary producer, Passion has won many accolades, including Oscars for One Day in September and Searching for Sugar Man. But the company started life as an animation studio, which Ruhemann founded in London in 1987 with former staffers of the Disney production Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Passion Animation Studios has grown into one of the U.K.’s leading animation producers. Its credits include 101 Dalmatian Street for Disney, the “Zima Blue” segment of Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots (image at top), the Oscar-winning short film The Lost Thing, the series Marvel’s Ant-Man, music videos for Gorillaz, and commercials for a wide range of clients. Aside from London, it has offices in Paris, Barcelona, New York, and Melbourne.
- “For many years I’ve admired Passion,” Southgate said in a statement. “To consistently produce outstanding work in three different disciplines — animation, feature docs, and natural history — is pretty unique. Personally, I’m really looking forward to re-engaging creatively, and I’m honored to be joining such an exceptional group of people.”
- “I’m thrilled to have Nick on board,” added Ruhemann. “He brings a rare combination of creative flair and business experience at the highest level. Nick, and the investment he attracts, will allow us to reach our full potential. We will be making new senior executive hirings in the feature docs space in the very near future.”