The Tinopolis Group is proud to announce that its subsidiary
company Mentorn Media has been shortlisted for two awards at the
Broadcast Awards 2014.
For Best Independent Production Company, judges
look for a company that has shown a strong track record in meeting
the requirements of commissioning editors and includes providing
original ideas to developing high quality finished programmes on
budget. Mentorn Media will be competing against five other
production companies for this award.
Edwardian Insects On Film, produced by
Mentorn Scotland for BBC Four, has been shortlisted for
Best Multichannel Programme. For this
award judges are looking for an outstanding original production
commissioned by a UK channel. Wildlife cameraman Charlie
Hamilton-James, helped by Sir David Attenborough, examine the
career of amateur naturalist Percy Smith, look back at the 200
films he produced throughout his 35 year career and reveal the
genius behind one of Britain's greatest and most unheralded film
Trailer : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stKey6236J4
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 5
February at Grosvenor House, London.
Anxious to promote trade abroad, Business Secretary Vince Cable,
launched a task force of companies that have the capacity to win
large creative industries contracts outside the UK. Over the next
three years, the task force will comb the globe looking for
opportunities for the UK creative industry. Opportunities will be
funneled to job-creators in a diverse range of creative industries.
The UK Government believes that it can steer over half a billion
pounds worth of work to Britain via this initiative.
Tinopolis, Wales' largest media company, was successful in its
application to be part of this select group. The inclusion of
Tinopolis on the list came after its business development team
responded to an open call by UKTI for candidate companies to
Llanelli-based founder of Tinopolis, Ron Jones commented, "I had
hoped that more Welsh companies would be on the list as this will
help us carry the flag into new markets and territories. Our
production and distribution divisions are active on both sides of
the Atlantic and already sell around the world. This
opportunity is about us making content conceived from the outset
for international markets and not about selling programming made
domestically for viewing abroad".
Recently, Tinopolis's drama division, Fiction Factory, has been
creating waves across the televisual world with its much-acclaimed
series Hinterland, shot in Aberystwyth. "Y Gwyll, as it is know in
Welsh", commented Mr Jones, "shows that our Welsh programming can
be exported worldwide as well".
Tinopolis has companies based in London, Glasgow, and Cardiff as
well as Los Angeles, Washington DC and Abu Dhabi.
Each company in the task force will have its own international
expansion plan and participate in overseas visits to target high
value projects. They will receive training support and networking
assistance directly related to High Value Opportunities identified
by UKTI. The companies will work together with international trade
advisors retained by the government to identify the projects they
are most qualified to bid for.
According to UK Trade and Investment, the government department
that helps UK companies succeed in the global economy, "until
recently the market for UK creativity was limited largely to
Western Europe. But as new markets mature and global trading
channels widen, the demand for British creative expertise is
escalating". This latest initiative is part of the
government's "Exporting is GREAT" campaign, launched in November
2013 and challenged to drive £1.2billion in export revenue from the
leads it generates.
Mr. Jones added, "We in Wales can punch above our weight when it
comes to making programming for international markets. Operating
bilingually comes naturally to us. We understand how to make
content in more than one language without editorial compromise.
Those skills will serve us well as we work with international
Finally, remarked Ron Jones, who is also Chair of the Welsh
Government Creative Industries sector panel, "As we
continue our expansion plans, we hope that having the government
assisting us in trawling for opportunities will increase our
international reach and that of Wales. One lesson from the shortage
of contracts coming to Wales from the London Olympics is that we
must ensure that we get ourselves on these lists. Nothing
happens overnight and we have to take a longer-term view with
regards to winning contracts despite the pressures on management
time. Some of our major sports contracts and entries into new
markets have taken years. If that's what it takes it's what
we have to do."
Pioneer Productions, one of the world's leading
factual producers, has appointed Ailsa Orr to the newly-created
role of Creative Director. She joins the Tinopolis-owned indie from
the BBC where she was Head of BBC Television's Innovation Unit,
tasked with driving creative renewal across the whole of BBC
Television and leading the development of the next generation of
cross-genre and commercial super-brands.
Stuart Carter, Chairman, Pioneer Productions,
says: "This new senior role is designed to help take Pioneer into a
whole new era and help accelerate our diversification. We are one
of the world's most celebrated producers of specialist factual
content, with a growing portfolio of wider factual properties.
Driving our growth in the wider factual area, growing our market
share and enhancing our USP is what this role is all about.
"Ailsa's success internationally as a respected industry leader
of cutting edge specialist factual TV, combined with her
substantial track-record in innovation, makes her a fantastic
person to lead Pioneer into its next phase of creative
Across her career, Ailsa Orr is renowned for creating some of
the UK's most groundbreaking, ambitious and commercially successful
factual television, including Pompeii - The Last Day which secured
one of the biggest television audiences ever recorded for the BBC
and won an EMMY and two BAFTA nominations, and Supervolcano for BBC
One and Discovery which was EMMY, BAFTA and RTS nominated.
In 2007, Ailsa was appointed Head of Programmes for the BBC in
Northern Ireland - the youngest person to have held the position.
Here, she expanded her programme-making expertise across drama,
features, comedy, entertainment, events and low-budget feature
films. In November 2012, she was appointed Head of BBC Television's
new Innovation Unit, where she was tasked to reinvigorate and
energize the BBC's commitment to be the most creative organisation
in the world. Heading up a multi-disciplined team, their brief was
to serve as the 'creative engine' for BBC in-house production,
supporting development teams, encouraging cross-genre thinking and
specifically focused on creating the next generation of commercial
Before joining BBC Northern Ireland, Ailsa was an
Executive/Series Producer at BBC Factual (2003-2007) where she
produced a range of ambitious factual dramas for BBC One and the
international market. Prior, to that, as a Producer at Wall to Wall
(1999-2003), she travelled the world producing films about
dinosaurs, becoming an industry 'expert' on all things
paleontological, an area she had built on during her time as an
Assistant Producer at BBC Factual (1998-1999), where she worked on
Walking with Dinosaurs.
Ailsa Orr says: "Pioneer is a flagship company
in the documentary industry - one of those companies who, for over
20 years, has lead the charge in quality, insight and creative
innovation. It's fantastic to be joining the senior team at such an
exciting time and I'm thrilled to be helping to take the company
into its next phase of development."
Commenting on her departure, Pat Younge, Chief Creative
Officer at BBC Productions added:
"Ailsa is an outstanding creative leader with great editorial
range, intellectual depth and creative vision. She's skilled at
getting teams to deliver their very best work, and the BBC's loss
is Pioneer's gain."
Ailsa joins the senior team at Pioneer in November.
Award-Winning Reality TV Production
Company Adds Veteran Showrunners as Co-Managing Directors
Los Angeles, Calif. - June 18, 2013 - Reality
production powerhouse A. Smith & Co. Productions today
announces the addition of Jay Bienstock and Eugene Young, Co-CEO's
of Bienstock Young Media, to the company as co-managing directors.
A. Smith & Co Productions will absorb part of the
Bienstock-Young production slate, and Bienstock and Young will join
the senior leadership team alongside CEO Arthur Smith, President
Kent Weed, and COO Frank Sinton.
Bienstock and Young have spent the last three years running
Bienstock Young Media, where they produced and secured more than a
dozen pilot and series orders across both broadcast and cable
networks. Under the Bienstock-Young banner, the duo launched
productions such as "Animal Intervention" on Nat Geo Wild,
"Big Food" for CMT, and recently received a series order for "Times
Up" at MTV. In addition to their series commitments, Bienstock and
Young have several pilots at A&E as part of a production
partnership with daytime personality and producer Dr. Phil McGraw
and his son, Jay.
"Jay and Eugene join our already strong operating team during
the most prolific time in our history," said Arthur Smith, CEO of
A. Smith & Co. Productions. "With their consistent track record
of creating innovative hit programming across genres, we are lucky
to have such a talented and proven pair on the A. Smith & Co.
In their new roles at A. Smith & Co Productions, both
Bienstock and Young will be responsible for increasing the
operating capacity of the company while extending its production
slate into new territory. Hot off the thirteenth season
renewal of broadcast stalwart "Hell's Kitchen" (FOX), July 2013
marks the fifth season premiere of "American Ninja Warrior" (NBC
and Esquire), one of last season's summer ratings darlings, as well
as the anticipated series premiere of "Joe Rogan Questions
Everything" (Syfy). Season five of "Full Throttle Saloon" (truTV)
and season seven of "Kitchen Nightmares" (FOX) will begin
production this summer as well. The A. Smith & Co. Productions
slate currently includes more than 20 series in various stages of
production, including new shows "Save Our Business" (TNT), "Divorce
Hotel" (FOX), and "Too Young To Marry?" (Oxygen).
Eugene Young is an Emmy-award winning producer and executive who
has created, developed, adapted, sold and managed television's top
brands, including "America's Got Talent" (NBC), "The Price is
Right" (CBS), "Let's Make a Deal" (CBS), "Deal or No Deal" (NBC),
"Extreme Makeover Home Edition" (ABC), and "Fear Factor" (NBC).
Prior to the formation of Bienstock Young Media, he served as chief
creative officer at FremantleMedia North America. Before Fremantle,
Young spearheaded the launch of Endemol USA where he served as
creative director. Earlier in his career, Young was a news
producer, with stints at "Extra!" CBS, and ABC.
Jay Bienstock counts six Primetime Emmy Award nominations across
three series ("Survivor," "The Apprentice," "Eco-Challenge:
Borneo") to his name, winning once. One of the most respected
television showrunners in the industry, Bienstock has developed and
executive produced some of the biggest shows on TV, including
"Survivor" (CBS), "The Apprentice" (NBC), "Bachelor Pad" (ABC),
"Eco-Challenge" (Discovery) and "Behind the Music" (VH1), which
launched his career. Most recently, he served as executive producer
of "The American Baking Competition" on CBS. Bienstock has been
nominated for "Producer of the Year in Non-Fiction Television" by
the Producer's Guild and twice for "Program of the Year" by the
Television Critics Association.
BBC Three has commissioned Mentorn Media to make
a factual entertainment series, Hotel of Mum and Dad
(working title), about the growing trend of young coupleshaving to
move back in with their parents or in-laws, it has been
1 in 10 young people have moved back home with their
partner - that's a staggering 300,000 couples. But
with sky-high house prices, fewer jobs, rent through
the roof, crippling debts and extortionate childcare costs,
it's a growing trend for multiple generations to live under one
roof. The 6x60' series gets a first-hand look at the various
compromising situations faced by the couples who have had to
'bunk up' with the parents or in-laws. Each episode then challenges
couples to test drive a place of their own that fits their
budget. The series contrasts the potential nightmare of
the family dynamics between two
generations when shacked up under one
roof with the effect on everyone involved when the couple
Will the young lovebirds cope in the real world? Do mum and dad
miss them? Or do they all get on better when there's some
Whether they live with parents to bring down child care costs or
because they like their mother's home cooking too much to leave,
the series will explore a range of family dynamics and
relationships through this very 21st Century phenomenon.
Mentorn Media's Director of Programmes, Hannah Wyatt, said:
"We're delighted to be making this programme and working with the
team at BBC Three. This is designed to be a funny and heart-warming
series, exploring a very 21st century phenomenon in a humorous
and insightful way."
Zai Bennett said: "In Hotel of Mum and Dad we're going
to see what life is really like living as a couple under the same
roof as your mum and dad and if we can't coax you to take those
first steps to independence with your own home".
The series has been ordered by Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC
Three; Alan Tyler, Executive Editor, Entertainment Commissioning
and Fiona Campbell, Commissioning Editor for Independents at BBC
News and Current Affairs, and will be made by Mentorn Scotland.
With Passion Distribution firmly implanted in the
Tinopolis Group, the company will be heading to MIPTV with two new
series from Pioneer Productions, just one of the Group's production
Passion Distribution's new programming line-up for MIPTV
includes STRANGEST WEATHER ON EARTH and WEATHER THAT CHANGED THE
WORLD. Passion expects to licence both series in over 40
territories and follow in the global footprint of STORM
STORM CITY (4 x 60') was originally produced by Pioneer
Productions for Sky 2D, Sky 3D, Sky Atlantic and National
Geographic US. Recent sales include SBS (Australia), Media
Contents Store (Korea), Nelonen Media (Finland), TV3 (New Zealand),
DR (Denmark), M6 (France) and Pan-Eastern Europe
The hugely ambitious series takes weather storms to a
spectacular new level. Using state of the art technology and
science, we witness the blow-by-blow damage of orchestrated natural
disasters, from killer quakes to amazing floods, as they wreak
havoc on a specially constructed 'city'.
STRANGEST WEATHER ON EARTH (12 x 30') looks at weather events
so bizarre they're beyond our wildest imagination, from fire-nadoes
to fish and worms falling from the sky. In this series we'll
explore the wild and wonderful world of the weirdest weather on
Earth. WEATHER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (9 x 30') reveals how our
history has been shaped by weather, from the sinking of the Titanic
to the crash of the Hindenburg. We see how severe drought,
torrential rain, extreme cold and unpredictable winds have created
dramatic turning points in history.
Both documentary series were produced by Pioneer Productions
for The Weather Channel. As previously reported, Passion is also
launching 4 new series direct for The Weather Channel as part of an
exclusive agreement between the companies.
Following an independent assessment by ISO
certification specialist QMS International, Video Arts was judged
to have quality management processes and procedures in place that
enable it to provide best practice generic and custom video
training, as well as e-learning and m-learning resources, that
consistently meet the exacting requirements of its customers.
All areas of the company's business were assessed in the
accreditation, including its product line, its working
practices, its learning and development activity and its
"Our reputation has been built on the quality of our resources
and our level of service," said Martin Addison, CEO of Video Arts.
"The fact that we've now held the internationally-acclaimed ISO
9001 for 12 years provides reassurance to our customers that we set
ourselves very high standards. We constantly evaluate our
operations to ensure that those standards are maintained and
further improved. The values of quality, service and
continuous improvement are embedded into our business, along with
great learning content, and we regard these as key to customer
ISO 9001 is a standard recognised in over 150 countries
worldwide. However, Greville Payne of QMS International, who was
involved in the assessment of Video Arts, highlighted that only
five percent of UK businesses have been awarded ISO 9001
certification. He paid tribute to "the investment in people and
training that enables Video Arts to provide an efficient service to
Founded in 1972, Video Arts is the world's leading provider of
video-based learning. It serves customers in 50 countries and
produces learning content in 40 languages.
Passion Distribution is set to launch 120 new hours of
programming from OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network at MIPTV in
April. The slate is part of an exclusive distribution
agreement between the two companies. The new shows and
returning series represent the growing success of the network in
the U.S. and include 12 new series and 8 headlining specials
featuring extraordinary stories.
Series highlights include, among many others, a new
reality series from producers World of Wonder LIFE WITH LA TOYA (10
x 30'). Showbiz icon, La Toya Jackson, takes us into the
world of her globally high profile family as she sets out to make
dramatic life changes and confronts all they have been through,
tackling love and her career all on her own unpredictable terms.
LIFE WITH LA TOYA premieres on OWN in the US on 13th
DELIVER ME (10 x 60') fulfils viewer's insatiable appetite
for birth stories and the women on the frontline of delivery
holding the hands of soon to be mums as they give birth.
From birth stories to dog rescuers - the new reality
series DOGFELLAS (10 X 30')(WORKING TITLE)follows a former street
enforcer for the mafia whose life-changing encounter with a stray
pup inspired him to open a top dog grooming parlour in Brooklyn,
IYANLA: FIX MY LIFE (13 x 60') features inspirational
speaker and accomplished author, Iyanla Vanzant, as she goes behind
closed doors and deep inside the most private
parts of people's lives for emotional, riveting conversations.
Secrets will be revealed, truths will be uncovered and emotions
will come out as Vanzant teaches us how to pull back the
curtain on what is broken in our lives.
Lisa Ling, renowned journalist, returns with another
season of her critically acclaimed documentary series (18 x 60'),
ideal either to schedule as singles or a series. Ling
takes viewers along for an in-depth look at some of the most
controversial and thought-provoking issues in the world today,
covering subjects from swingers and modern polygamy to young girls
entering convents and faith healers.
New program offerings also include a look into the world
of PROSTITUTION: LEAVING THE LIFE (1 x 120'), inmates SERVING LIFE
(1 x 120') for an average sentence of 90 years in prison and
individuals who ended up in dramatic, intense and life altering
situations in THE NIGHT I ALMOST DIED (1 x 60').
Sally Miles CEO of Passion Distribution quote: "Our
relationship with OWN has gone from strength to strength and this
is the strongest line up yet to bring to market. We know our
buyers are going to be excited to hear about the new series and
specials available for their schedules."
Astronomy and space research are lifting
off this week, with the launch of
Cosmic Comics. Published online by Llanelli-based media company
Tinopolis, the project is the brainchild of Dr Emma Weitkamp, the
creator of Science Comics, from
University of West England, Bristol.
The comic draws on the astronomical expertise of Prof Paul Roche
of the University of Glamorgan and is brought to life by
illustrator Dave Smith and website editor Charles Wilson of
Cosmic Comics follows the adventures of three ordinary teenagers
who are given access to the fantastic facilities of the Faulkes
Telescope South , a world-class research telescope in
Published weekly on Planet Science, the five
episode comic will be supported by short articles explaining the
science behind the children's exploits as well as
interactive polls and quizzes to test readers' astronomy
knowledge. All five episodes will remain on the website allowing
browsers to catch up on any missed episodes.
The central characters in the Cosmic Comics are Jake, Mara and
Ravi who are studying for their GCSEs at the White Horse Academy in
Rockley. They are taught by astronomy enthusiast Mr Krater who has
managed to get access to the Faulkes Telescope South. The 'Cosmic
Comics crew' turn their eyes towards the heavens and put our solar
system under scrutiny. As they get to grips with using a real
research telescope, their adventures begin.
Before starting the project Dr Weitkamp explored the reading
habits of young teenagers and found that 40% of 13 to 15 year olds
read a comic weekly or daily with a similar percent reading about
science on the internet on a daily or weekly basis. Of 10 and 12
year olds, about 35% were reportedly reading a comic daily or
weekly with about 24% reading about science on the internet.
"Young people love reading and research shows that placing
science into a wider context not only helps engage readers but also
facilitates learning", said Dr Emma Weitkamp. "Feedback from the
Science Comics project showed that children loved the stories and
teachers commented how helpful it was to place chemistry in an
everyday context." Cosmic Comics aims to do the same with
Prof. Paul Roche, chair of Astronomy Education at the University
of Glamorgan and the science consultant to the project said, "The
comic storylines will help us to communicate some very exciting
space science and astronomy, like the threat posed by asteroid and
comet impacts, or eruptions from the Sun that might damage our
satellite networks. It's all about real science, but in a
format that should appeal to our target audience. There is lots of
really interesting science going on out there, and we want to show
that the UK is at the leading edge of much of this international
"Tinopolis Interactive have been hosting a
world-class science education website for the last three
years", said Charles Wilson, editor of Planet Science. "It's
very exciting for us to be part of a project which will inspire a
new generation of astronomy enthusiasts".
Cosmic Comics is funded by the Science and Technology
Facilities Council (STFC).
Long-running series, ICONOCLASTS, continues its track of
successful sales with its 6th season (6x30') for Passion
The 6th season of this highly acclaimed show has proved a
global hit, being licensed in over 134 territories, securing a
number of large pan deals including Asia (Sundance Channel), Latin
America (Turner), the Middle East (DMTV) and Central Eastern Europe
(Sundance Channel). The UK (Sky), Canada (Sundance Channel) and
France (Sundance Channel) picked up the latest season after
successfully running all 5 previous seasons. Denmark (DR-K),
Germany (NBC Biography) and New Zealand (Rialto) have also acquired
the latest season after seeing great success from ICONOCLASTS'
ICONOCLASTS, a Grey Goose and @Radical Media production, is
a profile series bringing together two celebrity icons from varying
worlds, including music, fashion and art, dropping them into an
intimate situation. Produced for Sundance Channel, the latest
season features icons such as, TV chef Jamie Oliver, designer Paul
Smith, singer Norah Jones, and actor James Franco, to
name a few. The first 5 seasons of ICONOCLASTS (30x60') have
historically sold well for Passion, being licensed in over 118
territories including Australia (Foxtel), Italy (Sky Arts), Korea
(Sky HD), Israel (Talit), Poland (Onet), and Pan-Africa (Seed
Passion Distribution's Director of Sales, Emma Simpkins said
"The intimate, unprecedented access to iconic celebs that
ICONOCLASTS gives its audience, makes this a smart acquisition for
international buyers. The return of all previous licensees to this
new season is proof that this is a show that delivers what
international buyers and audiences want."