Cosmopolitan Pictures Joins The Story Collective


Cosmopolitan Pictures has joined The Story Collective, a Fifth Season-backed company, to expand its slate of European projects and build on its relationships with local European talent and commissioners.

Over the last few years, Cosmopolitan has been building a slate tailored to key European territories in their local languages. It recently released the Italian true-crime series Per Elisa: il Caso Claps and will be delivering the third season of the Spanish crime drama The Mallorca Files in August.

With several local European projects in advanced stages of development from a combination of local and British writers and directors, Cosmopolitan will now be able to tap into The Story Collective’s creative, strategic, operational and commercial resources to continue developing and expanding its slate.

The deal reunites Cosmopolitan founder Ben Donald with his former BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point colleagues Simon Vaughan and Damian Keogh, co-chair and CEO of The Story Collective, respectively. Between them, they have co-produced a number of projects, including Death in Paradise, Ripper Street, Parade’s End, The Collection, The Refugees, Spies of Warsaw and The Passing Bells.

Donald, Vaughan and Keogh, with the support of co-CEOs Chris Rice and Graham Taylor, as well as the team at Fifth Season, are also focusing their efforts on a new initiative to help other companies, producers and talent drive their frontrunner projects over the line. As part of this, Artis Pictures’ Kate Croft will work with Vaughan on setting up projects with an Anglo-American axis, while Donald will bring his European relationships to the table. Together, they will work to maximize the relevancy, reach and potential of the best and most ambitious local and cross-border projects emerging from key territories such as the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

“Ben has been finding European stories and developing and producing brilliant shows with varying degrees of European creative and story elements,” Vaughan and Keogh said. “He is a longtime colleague and dear friend, and we are so excited that he has decided to join our Collective. No one in Britain knows the key European markets like Ben, and his relationship in each territory is genuine, deep and always focused on the creative. Together, we hope to bring distinctive local shows to life and then help them reach audiences beyond their borders.”

Donald said, “I am delighted to join The Story Collective’s group of producers and to team up again with friends and former colleagues. I have always been drawn to European stories, characters and ideas and see a unique opportunity, with an outside eye, to bring these to the screen with the best of British and European talent. It is wonderful to have this particular enthusiasm and passion of mine so encouraged and endorsed by such a great and proven team and backed up by the strong global distribution of Fifth Season.”