Scripted specialist Donut Films opens for business | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Cross-platform production company Donut Films, focussing on scripted drama and comedy, has been officially launched by scriptwriter and journalist Jane Marlow and producer, Virginia Orr.
They Them Us 11June2020
Marlow and Orr have produced successful short films in a freelance capacity, including Dancing Alone, which won Best Actress and Best British Drama at the 2017 Discover Films Awards, and 2018’s Take Me Back, which won a London Independent Film Award.

Orr’s career began in luxury fashion retail project management, working with iconic brands such as Ralph Lauren, for whom she launched the first store in Europe, Comme des Garçons, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. She subsequently established herself as a luxury management consultant working for over 25 years with luxury brands focusing on operational, financial and creative sustainability.

Marlow’s career spans screenwriting, TV-industry journalism and content production. Her TV career started as a storyliner on Coronation Street and she went on to write for many of the UK’s most successful soaps, notably EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Doctors and Bad Girls. Her work on Hollyoaks was nominated for ‘Best Exit’ Soap Award. Marlow is a regular contributor to TV-industry trade publications Broadcast, TBI and World Screen, as well as the Edinburgh TV Festival as an executive producer.

The first Donut Films project is 8 x 30’ drama They Them Us (pictured) which has been picked up by Canadian LGBTQ+ television network and streaming service OUTtv. The show is a relationship drama set among a group of 20-something friends who are exploring their sexuality, identity and gender. Set against the background of a women’s football team, series one follows Suze, a gay woman who is making the journey to a non-binary identity. Donut Films shot a test-of-concept pilot in November 2019 after working with gay, trans, non-binary and straight actors in the development process. Award-winning artist, filmmaker and campaigner Fox Fisher from My Genderation also came on board for the pilot as story consultant.

They Them Us has also been selected as one of ten in-development projects to be screened at France’s prestigious Série Series festival in June 2020. It will be showcased in the festival’s new strand, Spotlight on Trailers by Série Series, which aims to help European producers working on new projects to access partners and financing. Série Series’ sponsor, La Fabrique des Formats, will offer the two most promising trailers up to €75,000 in financial support, along with practical help and guidance.

Commenting on the launch of the new company and its first project, Orr said: “Donut Films formalises the success that Jane and I achieved with our short film Take Me Back and which looks set to continue with They Them Us. Our creative and business skills dovetail well — Jane’s TV knowledge and scriptwriting experience complement my expertise in transforming creative businesses into sound business propositions. I think the deal with OUTtv and the backing of Série Series show that it’s a formula that works, both creatively and commercially.”