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Unscripted shows characterised by “maverick ingenuity and innovation” will be the focus of a new London and Margate-based indie.

Set up by former Minnow Films creative director Sophie Leonard and ex-BBC documentary commissioner David Hodgkinson, Samphire Films will develop constructed formats, premium box sets, feature documentaries, returning series and talent-fronted shows.

The pair have already made a trio of hires: head of development Joe Fowler joins from Expectation, while chief financial officer Lewis Harradine has worked with both Blast! Films and Chimp Television, and production consultant Claire Mason was previously Fulwell 73’s managing director of production.

Leonard and Hodgkinson said Samphire had already secured a co-development deal with a major US network and is in funded development on six further projects.

Leonard, who left Minnow last year after seven years with the company, latterly as creative director, said: “Collectively, we’ve worked with some of the most talented chief execs in our previous telly lives, but now it’s time to do it for ourselves and we are committed to creating a company fit-for-purpose in the current climate, working with people who are at the top of their game creatively and commercially.

“Who we hire, the culture we create, what we produce and how we push the boundaries of possibility in our work is the essence of Samphire’s strategy. We want to be known as a key supplier who creates and delivers extraordinary programming to the best in the business, across the world.” 

Hodgkinson’s BBC commissions included Firecrest Films’ BBC2 series Murder Trial and he was previously creative director at Blast! Films.

Hodgkinson said Samphire’s ambition is for “originality, tone of voice and an element of maverick ingenuity and innovation baked into everything we make, and how we make it”. 

He added: “I’m incredibly excited about the huge creative and cultural potential of Samphire, working with my brilliant colleagues to grow a fresh, modern production company.

"We’ll revel in the latest exciting advances in storytelling, in technology, and in ways of collaborating to ensure we’re working with the best and most inclusive range of talent from across the UK and further afield on the next generation of groundbreaking content.” 

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