Derren Lawford, the former creative director of British indie producer Woodcut Media, has launched a new film and TV outfit focused on premium content with diversity at its core.

Headquartered in London, DARE Pictures will span documentaries, drama, film and podcasts, with plans to enlist an award-winning international network of directors, authors and producers who want to tell inclusive stories. Through Lawford’s previous work, the company is also positioned to access the worlds of fashion, music and advertising.

“DARE Pictures is primed as a new breed of production studio that takes a progressive and transnational approach in uncovering impactful ideas, whilst shining a light on creative talent across multiple cultures and backgrounds from around the world,” said Lawford.

“It’s both a bold and boutique approach to developing, producing and financing incredible stories, which is why DARE is positioned as a unique hub where independent and commercial creators can come together united in a commitment to compelling and premium programming with purpose. As a company, we stand for diversity, allyship, representation and empowerment, and endeavour to reflect those values in everything we do.”

Lawford, one of the U.K. industry’s most prominent champions for diversity, is a seven-year veteran of Kate Beal’s Woodcut Media, where he oversaw development and strategy and secured commissions, co-productions and financing opportunities. His credits include the BFI-funded feature documentary “Generation Revolution,” and Idris Elba-co-produced “Mandela, My Dad and Me” and “Cut From a Different Cloth,” all three of which were picked up by Netflix.

His other executive producer credits include “Fiennes: Return to the Nile,” a three-part commission for National Geographic featuring Joseph Fiennes and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as well as “The Ivy” and “Football: A Brief History by Alfie Allen.” Outside of Woodcut, in the last five years, Lawford has independently helped to develop and mentor more than 20 international feature documentaries and projects.

Lawford entered the industry as a trained journalist before helping to launch a youth TV station (whereits.at) and then joining the BBC where he worked for over 10 years. At the corporation, he was part of the teams that launched radio station 1Xtra and catch-up service BBC Global iPlayer, as well as a number of BBC Three documentary commissions. He then went on to launch a content division with social enterprise and marketing agency Livity before joining network London Live.

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