Sangeeta Desai and Sarah Doole

Source: Anton

Sangeeta Desai, Sarah Doole

Anglo-French production and financing outfit Anton has hired former Fremantle execs Sangeeta Desai and Sarah Doole to launch a dedicated TV production division.

Anton’s TV division will aim to produce premium talent-driven content for global audiences. It will also seek to partner with leading creatives to launch scripted labels across Europe. The business will also look at direct and first-look deals with established on- and off-screen talent.

Desai, whose recent roles include board director at Boatrocker Media, CEO of OSN, as well as global COO and CEO of emerging markets at Fremantle will lead the new business unit, overseeing strategy, operations, and business development.

Doole, founder and CEO of talent incubator Sow the Seed, former CEO of Red Productions and director of global drama at Fremantle, will shape Anton’s content plans as creative director.

Both will sit on the Anton board. The pair are joined by Anton’s current VP, production and development, Jack Buckley, who has been promoted to head of development and will oversee series co-productions and the new indie slates. Millie Laubscher rounds out the current team as development assistant.

Anton has produced and/or financed over 400 titles, including film franchises such as Paddington, Shaun The Sheep and Greenland, and high-end television including the BBC’s The Pursuit of Love, His Dark Materials, Gentleman Jack and Around The World in 80 Days.

On the film side, Anton has recently developed, produced and financed the Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway-fronted Mothers’ Instinct, and The End We Start From, starring Jodie Comer and Benedict Cumberbatch, both of which will launch at festivals later this year, as well as the action thriller Canary Black starring Kate Beckinsale and Rupert Friend.

Revenge thriller Femme starring George MacKay and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett will world premiere at Berlin next month.

Anton founder and CEO Sebastien Raybaud said: “I’m delighted that Sangeeta and Sarah are joining Anton to launch and run our new TV arm. Their expertise, experience and enthusiasm will be invaluable. This move marks an important milestone in the development of the company.”

Desai added: “Anton has quickly gained a reputation for shaking up the way feature films are financed and produced, and I’m excited to explore how we can take advantage of Anton’s agility and flexibility to offer some of Europe’s best creatives the chance to realise their ambitions.”