|Film and television production and distribution group Southern Star has announced that it is to merge its factual business unit, which is currently based in Sydney, with acclaimed natural history and science producer Oxford Scientific Films.
Oxford Scientific Films' Chief Executive Officer Clare Birks will head the new division that will continue to use the Oxford Scientific Films brand for specialist factual programmes with the new Southern Star Factual brand used for features and factual entertainment shows.
Ms Birks said: "We have a number of highly talented producers within the group all of whom are pitching to much the same customers in what is becoming an increasingly global business. I look forward to working with all the producers to maximise the creative effort as well as combining back office functions where possible to deliver the best possible ideas and projects to our customers."
Southern Star Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Marks, said: "Under Clare's leadership the Oxford Scientific Brand has grown significantly over the last few years. This move will enable us to maximise our potential to meet the future demands of our factual customers."
Through Southern Star factual in Sydney and Oxford Scientific Films in London, the business will bring together award-winning producers responsible for quality programming such as 'Meerkat Manor' (Animal Planet), 'Atom' (BBC), 'Perfect Weapon' (National Geographic Channels International), 'Forensic Investigators (Seven Network) and 'Supercells' (National Geographic).
Clare Birks has also announced that Alice Keens-Soper joined the company as an executive producer at the beginning of the year, with a remit to focus on winning commissions from the UK networks. Alice was Series Producer on the cult BBC series 'Mischief' and produced the critically acclaimed 'Aztecs' series for Channel 4 with DBC Pierre.
Oxford Scientific Films has been an award-winning producer of specialist factual programmes for more than 30 years, supplying films to many of the world's major broadcasters including the BBC, Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic, WNET, Channel 4, Five, ITV and Sky One.
Southern Star is Australia's largest independent creator and producer of television programming. Its output includes factual and documentary; prime-time drama; and children's and family television programming.