Award-winning Producer Sue Clothier and Transmission Joint Managing Directors Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie announced today the formation of Utopia, a joint venture to produce quality factual and scripted content for all platforms.
The venture builds on the success of Transmission Films, the Australian-based feature distribution company, and Sue Clothier, who has a long career in factual production including most recently Northern Pictures which she founded in 2010.
Utopia’s slate will be anchored in the factual space, but also has a number of scripted projects in development.
“Transmission Films is the leading independent distributor in the country and partnering with Richard and Andrew in Utopia has been the easiest decision I have ever made. We share a strong and united vision for the future and believe we are well placed to build on our experience to deliver distinctive content in this evolving international media and entertainment landscape,” says Sue Clothier.
“Sue is the ideal partner – a producer with excellent taste, and a fantastic reputation. Being longtime friends and colleagues, it made perfect sense to extend Transmission’s feature business into the factual space and beyond. We’re excited about mixing our respective experience and generating original IP across old and new platforms. This is a natural next step in the growth of Transmission brand,” says Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie.
Sue Clothier is one of Australia’s leading original content production executives. In a career spanning more than two decades, Sue has produced or overseen the production of more than 500 hours of original content. Shows include the AACTA awarded Employable Me, Life on the Reef and Changing Minds, Emmy nominated Kakadu, Walkley awarded 10 Days That Shocked the Nation: Cronulla Riots, AACTA and Film Critics Award winning theatrical documentary Whiteley and environmental impact film BLUE, invited by the United Nations to screen in New York as part of the 2017 World Oceans conference.
Previously, Sue was General Manager of ScreenWorld and Head of TV Factual Production at Becker Entertainment. In 2010, Sue founded Northern Pictures, a premium creator of high-end factual and children’s programs, producing content for Australian and International markets. In 2017, Northern Pictures was acquired by Blue Ant Media (Toronto).
Transmission Films is one of the most successful independent distributors in the Aus/NZ market, having generated over $350m in box office and released such films as Lion, The King’s Speech, Carol, Brooklyn, Suffragette, The Railway Man, Calvary, Their Finest, Amour, Quartet, Love and Friendship, The Guard, Sherpa and NZ hits Boy, The Dark Horse and Chasing Great. Prior to Transmission, Payten and Mackie were Joint Managing Directors of Dendy Films and The Globe Film Co, where they acquired and released such films as Goodnight and Good Luck, Candy, The World’s Fastest Indian, Super Size Me, Secrets and Lies, Dead Man and The Motorcycle Diaries. At Ronin Films Payten oversaw the release of many films including the Australian box office hit Strictly Ballroom. As Executive Producers their credits include Tracks, Sweet Country, Candy, Holding The Man and Mary and Max.
Payten and Mackie were founding partners in See-Saw Films, the Oscar-winning production company run by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Canning and Sherman remain partners in Transmission Films and supply titles for Transmission to distribute in Aus/NZ. Transmission also has an output deal with Amazon Studios, handling all Amazon Studios feature production and acquisitions in the territory.
Utopia will make slate specific announcements in the near future.