FilmNation TV UK has hired a key drama executive from BBC Studios as it expands its roster. Martin Rakusen has joined Creative Director Kirsty MacDonald’s team as Chief Operating Officer.
In this role, Rakusen will lead all business, operations and financial activities and build and maintain strategic partnerships for the producer, which is a joint venture between FilmNation Entertainment and Viaplay Group.
He will work closely with McDonald on funding, strategy, deal structures and financial plans. He also managed television’s international distribution strategy, deals and relationships, and handled business negotiations with intellectual property owners, agents, commissioners, financiers, co-producers and distributors. At BBC Studios, he held a similar position, managing the strategic and commercial activities of drama and comedy.
Rakusen started his career at the BBC before moving to RDF as director of commercial development for drama, children’s and branded content. He then worked in Los Angeles for Shine International and then as chief operating officer when he and the company returned to London. He later joined BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios) where he sought to develop screenplays, including subsidiary production companies.. He rose to the rank of Commercial Director for BBC Studios Productions.
“We have long admired and respected Martin for his deep professional background, his strategic acumen and the breadth of his connections, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the FilmNation family,” said Milan Popelka, COO of parent company FilmNation Entertainment. “Together with Kirsty and our Viaplay Group partners, we are thrilled to be working with Martin to expand our business and accelerate the release of our vast lineup of bold and compelling series.”
“We are delighted that Martin has joined FilmNation TV UK as he brings such a wealth of experience and knowledge of the global TV market,” said FilmNation TV UK Creative Director Kirsty MacDonald. “We’re at a really exciting time for the company, so Martin’s arrival comes at a really pivotal time for us.”
“FilmNation has built a fantastic reputation for the consistently high quality and distinctiveness of its creative output across film, television, podcasts and theatre. I am thrilled to be working with Kirsty, Glenn and Milan to grow the UK business at such an exciting time, and to be able to work with exceptional talent within the FilmNation team,” Rakuzen told FilmNation.
FilmNation TV UK develops, produces and finances premium scripted television content and has plans for shows such as Patriarcha four-part series written by Reggie Yates based on his short film of the same name that aired on Channel 4.