Flush with the success of Bridget Jones's Diary and the US release of Croupier, UK-based production outfit Little Bird is revving up its slate by expanding its network of affiliated filmmakers and international financing partners.
Producer-director team Dixie Linder and Tim Roth have joined the company to develop a slate of films including Mike Barker's contemporary comedy The Mighty Wurlitzer as well as projects for Roth to direct. Bringing in a slate of horror films made under the banner The Ministry Of Fear is Lizzie Francke, former Edinburgh International Film Festival artistic director.
Jonathan Cavendish, who runs Little Bird with James Mitchell, is developing two further strands: one is a series of comedies, the other of "high quality movies made at relatively low cost with pre-sellable international stars" such as Julianne Moore title Marie And Bruce.
"We've made enough movies that have made enough money for enough people for people to come to us offering money to make films," said Cavendish, who last year produced Bridget Jones for Working Title Films. "We have got to the stage where we can handle more than one film a year."
Having built its presence in the last three years with titles such as Gangster No 1 and Ordinary Decent Criminal, Little Bird this year installed former FilmFour sales chief Sue Bruce-Smith in its Dublin office to head sales and develop overseas relations. Jane Doolan has moved across from running the company's Irish distribution arm Clarence Pictures to oversee Irish productions.
On the international front, the company linked with South Africa's Coronation Capital earlier this year, giving it access to a joint development and production fund. Little Bird also accesses local financing through Germany's Tatfilm and its own offices in the UK and Dublin, through which it acted as co-producer on Enemy At The Gates.
"This is a great time to join," said Linder. "It is a small company that is going to be building."