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Woodcut Media creative director Derren Lawford has left the indie to set up a "boutique" indie with a mission statement of “diversity, allyship, representation and empowerment”.

Lawford describes the London-based outfit, Dare Pictures, as a “new breed of production studio” that will showcase “incredible stories” in factual, drama, film and podcasts as well as fashion, music and advertising.

His ambition for the company is to establish an international network of directors, authors and producers to make premium programming with inclusivity at its heart.

Lawford said Dare will “take a progressive and transnational approach in uncovering impactful ideas, whilst shining a light on creative talent across multiple cultures and backgrounds from around the world”.

In his seven years at Woodcut, Lawford’s credits included three docs picked up by Netflix – the BFI-funded Generation Revolution and two projects co-produced with actor Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad and Me and Cut From a Different Cloth. He also executive produced three-part Nat Geo series Fiennes: Return to the Nile.

Prior to Woodcut, Lawford was a commissioning editor at the launch of London Live and also set up the in-house production team at social media agency Livity.

He has undertaken multiple roles as a mentor, supporting African documentary film-makers via the Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund and working with more than 20 directors of the Documentary Campus’ Masterschool programme.

Lawford is also involved with the BFI Doc Society Features Fund and helped Ahmed Faid and Nii Lartey secure investment from Snap Inc for their digital media platform Dose of Society.

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