Sony Pictures Television is moving into Northern Ireland.
The company has teamed with Irish media execs Kieran Doherty and Matt Worthy to launch Stellify Media, an independent production company, backed by SPT, which will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The joint venture, which also marks SPT’s first move into production in Northern Ireland, will develop entertainment programmes and formats for UK and international broadcasters. Sony said that the new prod co would collaborate with the company’s US and international production companies. Sony Pictures Television will handle global distribution for all Stellify Media productions.
Doherty and Worthy have had a number of successes over the years. Amongst those successes are the creation of international quiz format Secret Fortune and reality format Take The Money And Run. The duo also developed Dar O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums for UKTV and David Meade: Make Believe. More recently Kieran Doherty and Matt Worthy developed quiz pilots You Against The Nation for BBC One and Divide & Conquer for Channel 4.
Stellify Media is part Sony Pictures Television’s fairly aggressive push into international production, diversifying their core business beyond North America. The company now has some 18 production companies in 12 countries, including Strike Back and Wallander producers Left Bank Pictures. The launch of a new prod co in Belfast also comes at a time when Northern Ireland is becoming a popular destination for big budget productions. Numerous hit dramas, notably The Fall and Line of Duty, have been shot on location in Belfast, as the production sector there continues to grow.
“We are delighted to be launching our own independent production company at a time when the production industry in Northern Ireland is thriving and producing some of the most popular shows on TV”, said Kieran Doherty. “We are looking forward to capitalising on the current zeitgeist with our own innovative, original developments. With SPT’s backing we will have access to a wealth of expertise, resources and opportunity across its global network of production companies allowing us to focus both on international opportunities as well as domestic commissions.”
While Wayne Garvie, Chief Creative Officer, International Production at Sony Pictures Television, added: “Kieran and Matt are the rising stars of a new generation of Irish creatives. They have proven success in developing popular entertainment and Stellify Media will be a marvellous addition to our family. Northern Ireland is fast becoming a hotspot for international production and at Sony we’re really excited about becoming part of the region’s creative community and launching exciting, global hits.”