Acquisitions, Beta Film, Elizabeth Karlsen, News, Number 9 Films, Number 9 TV, Stephen Woolley, Television

Beta Backs ‘Living’ Producer Number 9 Films’ New TV Division; Kate Laffey To Lead Small Screen Subsidiary

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a big one in the European M&A world. Beta Film has taken a stake in Number 9 TV, a new small screen subsidiary of Carol and Living producer Number 9 Films.

Number 9 TV will be helmed by Kate Laffey, who has left her role running Paramount TV International Studios in the UK. She becomes Head of TV as the London indie expands its business to series.

The move is German major Beta’s first of its kind in the UK. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. Beta said the partnership will combine Number 9’s creative expertise with The Swarm seller’s experienced in developing, financing and distributing TV and film. Beta has around 30 labels including Sweden’s Unlimited Stories, X Filme Creative Pool and Italy’s Cross Productions.

Number 9 was founded more than 20 years ago by award-winning producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley. The duo have since been behind some of the biggest indie films of the past couple of decades, including the likes of Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth starring Michael Caine, Todd Haynes’ Carol and recent Bill Nighy-starrer Living. Upcoming movies include The Salt Path starring Jason Isaacs and Gillian Anderson.

Stephen Woolley, Kate Laffey, Elizabeth Karlsen

“Perfect timing”

Karlson and Woolley said: “This opportunity that Beta have gifted us is perfect timing for Number 9 to fulfil our long felt passionate ambition to expand our creative ideas into producing longform stories. We are excited to welcome Kate into the team and look forward to combining our motion picture experience with her hands on understanding of the television production and coproduction universe.”

Laffey, who used to be VP of acquisitions for Cineflix, added: “I am excited to accelerate their nascent TV slate and to work with Beta to deliver a pipeline of strong scripted originals that will appeal to the international market.”

Laffey had remained with Paramount’s studio in the UK and was running it with James Tatam after the unscripted division was shuttered early last year. It is now focused solely on scripted.

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