Former Molinare exec, Ironclad producer launch UK company.

Former Molinare head of business Richard Conway and producer Andrew Curtis (Ironclad, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson) are in Cannes with new UK-based production outfit Essential Film and Development.

Backed by Mike Campbell, the entrepreneur behind Strand VCI and MVP Home Entertainment, the company is looking to take a minimum of three medium to large budget features into production within the next three years.

According to company owners, the outfit has both development funds and access to production funding via interests in China.

The first film on the slate is underdog drama What’s Going On, written by Nick Bain & Cordel DeBardeLaben. Essential is hoping to shoot the film in France and Canada in 2016 with packaging currently underway.

Conway said: “Development funding these days is rare but particularly rare when they come with a clear path to independent production funding. Mike’s ambitions are very much aligned with our own: to set out to make films with high commercial appeal, yet importantly possessing stories with gravitas and heart”.

Curtis added: “The combination of our creative talents and entrepreneurial experience bodes well for the future of the company”.