Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Risky Business), Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment) and Avnet’s son, Jake Avnet, have launched Indigenous Media with principal investors WPP, a leading global communications services group, and British broadcasting giant ITV.
The new company will use the same model as Avnet and Garcia’s female-centric venture WIGS, producer of digital series such as Blue, starring Julia Stiles.
Indigenous Media will produce original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide that will attract brand sponsorships, as well as develop new multi-platform content brands. The primary focus will be on scripted half-hour and hour-long series. WPP and ITV will contribute advertising and distribution expertise.
“Shortly after the launch of WIGS, Peter Tortorici (CEO of GroupM Entertainment Global, a division of WPP) approached us with his vision for the potential of scripted content on digital platforms,” said the elder Avnet in a statement. “We agreed and now are working to scale this model with our new investors.”
WIGS will continue its marketing and distribution partnership with the Fox Broadcasting Company, with Indigenous Media contributing additional financing for future productions.
Jon Miller, former CEO of digital media for News Corp, will serve as non-executive chairman of Indigenous. Additional investors in the company include Steven Tisch, Advancit Capital (Shari Redstone, Jon Miller and Jason Ostheimer), Michael Price and Dr. Aaron Stern.
CAA served as an advisor to Indigenous on the deal.