It was announced today that Academy Award and BAFTA winning actor Olivia Colman (The Crown, The Favourite) and screenwriter Ed Sinclair (Landscapers) will set up their own independent scripted production company, South of the River Pictures with co-founder, Tom Carver. Sister, the newly launched global content company, has taken a minority stake in the new company.
South of the River Pictures will see the co-founders combine their unique skills and collective industry expertise to deepen existing creative relationships and seek out new collaborations as they aim to tell authored stories to audiences around the world.
The first project from South of the River Pictures will be Landscapers, written by Sinclair in his first television screenplay, for Sky Atlantic and HBO. Produced by Sister in association with South of the River Pictures, Landscapers is a visually inventive, darkly funny dramatisation of the lives of convicted killers Susan and Christopher Edwards, directed by Academy Award winner Alexander Payne (The Descendants, About Schmidt, Sideways) and staring Colman as Susan Edwards.
Ed Sinclair and Olivia Colman say:
"This is a real step into the unknown for us, but we’re so thrilled to have the opportunity. It’s an exhilarating time for drama generally, and South of the River adds a hugely exciting autonomy and reach to our existing creative relationship. We’re determined to take risks and wander off the well-trodden path, so we’ll no doubt make some mistakes. But we’ve been reading scripts together for 25 years and trust each other’s instincts implicitly. We hope that by being true to those, and by protecting the vision of the writers and creators we collaborate with, we’ll tell some amazing, enthralling and thought-provoking new stories, and create some really wonderful comedy and drama for telly and film."
South of the River Pictures forms a unique alignment with Sister. Whilst remaining fully independent, Sinclair and Colman are delighted to have formalised their longstanding creative relationship with Jane Featherstone and will benefit from their proximity to Sister’s creative and production team.
South of the River Pictures will be based in London, with Sinclair and Colman serving as Creative Directors. Tom Carver will become Managing Director. Carver comes with a 20 year track record at a range of start-up, high growth and global companies including WarnerMedia. Sister is a minority investor/shareholder.
NOTES TO EDITOR
ABOUT SOUTH OF THE RIVER
South of the River Pictures was set up in October 2019 to produce striking and original scripted comedy and drama with an authored, indie sensibility. We believe that we explore who we are through stories, and that to do so properly we need to hear not just brilliant and well-established voices, but previously unheard ones too.Our aim is to take risks to protect the vision of all those we work with, in order to find and tell unique narratives that have something to say about the world in which we live.
Ed Sinclair studied Law at Cambridge University and Acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has completed a short course in Producing Low Budget Features at the National Film and Television School, and in Teaching Adult Literacy at Southwark College, London.Throughout a varied career, writing has been his main passion. Landscapers is his first screenplay.
Olivia Colman is an Academy Award winning actress for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite. She is currently playing the leading role of Queen Elizabeth II in Series 3 and 4 of The Crown for Netflix/Left Bank Pictures. She is also playing a leading role opposite Anthony Hopkins in Florian Zeller's feature film The Father.
She is well known for her role as DS Ellie Miller in ITV1's hit drama Broadchurch for which she was awarded the BAFTA for Best leading Actress in 2014. Other film and TV credits include Fleabag (BBC One), Peep Show (Channel 4), The Lobster (2015), Tyrannosaur (2011), The Iron Lady (2011) and The Night Manager (2016), for which she won Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
Tom Carver joins South of the River Pictures as Managing Director with a 20-year background in international business management. His career began in Talent Management and he has since built and led a number of high performing teams, latterly working as an advisor for both start-up and global organisations including WarnerMedia.
Sister, formed in September 30th 2019 by Liz Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone, is a global production and development company. The storytelling triumvirate share a mutual ambition to build a modern, international company that champions exceptional, visionary talent. Sister will harness its co-founders’ collective expertise in film and television, their track records and a shared commitment to creating break out narrative content for multiple platforms.With Giri/ Haji for BBC Two/ Netflix having completed its critically acclaimed run on BBC Two forthcoming titles include, series two of Emmy Award winning writer Abi Morgan’s The Split (BBC One/ Sundance AMC) the adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s literary phenomenon The Power for Amazon, and Adam Kay’s adaptation of his international best-seller This Is Going To Hurt for the BBC.