Fremantle acquires majority stake in Silvio Productions

Fremantle aims to grow its global documentaries proposition.

Mumbai: Television format creator and distributor Fremantle has acquired a majority stake in Silvio Productions (formerly known as EGG Films). This is the Israeli independent production company behind the documentary series Shadow of Truth, Coastal Road Killer, After Midnight, The Baby Daddy, and Buried, which was recently nominated for two Emmys at this year’s 43rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

Silvio Productions was founded by Israeli-based director-writer-producers Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor.

The acquisition of Silvio Productions further underlines Fremantle’s commitment and ambition to grow its global documentary proposition by investing in and helping develop premium production companies working with creative talent.

Fremantle Group COO and CEO Continental Europe Andrea Scrosati, Abot Hameiri co-founder Guy Hameiri, and the Fremantle-owned Israeli production company behind the international hit drama Shtisel (Netflix), the recently announced East Side and original formats Power Couple and Hear Me Love Me See Me, as well as the Israeli producer for global formats such as Got Talent, Survivor, and The X Factor, spearheaded the deal.

Yotam Guendelman and Mika Timor, will collaborate and work closely with Hameiri in Israel, as well as benefit from Fremantle’s global infrastructure, international distribution, and strategic support across the 27 territories in which it operates around the world. Under the agreement, Guy Hameiri will assume the position of chairman of Silvio Productions, with Guendelman and Timor reporting to him.

Silvio Production’s Shadow of Truth premiered on the Israeli HOT8 channel and was subsequently picked up by Netflix for worldwide distribution. Released in over 190 countries, the series was labelled as one of the most-watched true-crime shows on Netflix and won several awards, including the 2017 Israeli Academy Television Awards for best documentary series.

Recent productions include Buried (Showtime), which follows the story of Eileen Franklin, who suddenly remembered witnessing the murder of her childhood best friend; it was recently nominated for outstanding crime and justice documentary and outstanding cinematography: documentary at this year’s 43rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards, and The Baby Daddy (YES DOCU), which follows Ari Nagel, a math professor and the father of 117 children (and counting). The film had its international premiere at the Austin Film Festival and its Israeli premiere at the DocAviv Festival lately, receiving rave reviews.

Upcoming productions include 1948 (KAN), Dunam and a Half (YES DOCU), and a new season of Shadow of Truth(HOT8).

Guendelman and Timor said, "This is a truly unique opportunity for us. To join forces with the incredibly talented Fremantle team, with its unrivalled international infrastructure, and to work with Guy and the Abot Hameiri team, who are without doubt one of the best production companies in Israel. The cultural, creative, and business rationale is natural, and we look forward to working closely with Andrea (Scrosati) and Guy (Hameiri). With their support and the global reach of Fremantle, we will take our business growth trajectory and our ambitious slate to the next level."

Scrosati said, "Fremantle is committed to working with the very best talent and creative minds in the business. Yotam, Mika, and the team at Silvio Productions have a proven track record and take great pride in their filmmaking and storytelling. We welcome them into the Fremantle family at this important time as we look to scale up our global documentary capabilities. I would like to thank Guy (Hameiri) for his leadership and continued focus on growing and optimising our valued business and IP in Israel. I believe Silvio Productions will perfectly complement Abot Hameiri’s premium scripted and formats divisions, and we are extremely excited to see both businesses benefit from this collaboration."

Hameiri said, "We have known Yotam and Mika for a long time and been great admirers of their work. They bring creative excellence and a real flair for important storytelling. Their projects not only connect with a local audience but also, importantly, globally, which has been recognised by international outlets including Showtime and Netflix. When this opportunity arose, it was obvious to see the synergies, and we are all looking forward to embracing this new partnership with Silvio Productions and the many opportunities it represents."

The investment in Silvio Productions follows the acquisitions over the past 12 months, which include UK production company Dancing Ledge (The Responder), scripted Italian production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike), and 12 production labels in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark from Nordic Entertainment Group (This is Nice Group), Irish production company Element Pictures (Normal People, The Favourite), and most recently, 72 Films (All or Nothing: Arsenal, 9/11: One Day in America) and natural history and premium factual content production company, Wildstar Films (America the Beautiful, Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory).

In August 2021, RTL Group set targets to increase Fremantle’s full-year revenue to €3 billion by 2025. The acquisition of Silvio forms part of Fremantle’s wider growth strategy to invest in production companies, content, and talent around the world to source creative ideas, develop, and create IP.

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