Francis Coady launches Grand Pacific Entertainment

Francis Coady

Bondi Short Film Festival founder Francis Coady is heading up a new media company focusing on developing premium content across scripted drama, documentaries, comedy, branded content, music, and podcasts.

Based in Sydney, Grand Pacific Entertainment Pty Ltd will have representation from William Morris Endeavor (WME) for a development slate of two new drama series, a scripted comedy series, and a documentary, the details of which are under wraps.

Coady, who will serve as CEO of the venture, has more than two decades of experience across film and television, more than half of which came as executive producer of the Bondi Short Film Festival, a role he held for 13 years before joining Merchantwise Group, where he forged partnerships with film studios such as Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount.

He has spent the past seven years at advertising and media communications agency Havas Media Network Australia, launching and overseeing Havas Sports & Entertainment Group (Vivendi).

The new venture will also carry an advisory capacity to help develop original branded content similar to content series The Long Road, featuring Guy Sebastian and Amy Shark, which he executive produced for Visit NSW.

Coady, who is also known for managing rock group Thirsty Merc and the global TV children’s group Hi-5, told IF he had been working behind the scenes on the business for the past year, noting his experience curating the Bondi Short Film Festival had helped inform the company’s scope.

“I curated about 3,000 short films at the Bondi Short Film Festival over 13 years and that entire time, I realised these curated moments we have in life were delivered through beautiful short-form films,” he said.

“These directors and producers were creating these amazing curated moments of time in their lives, and I’m realising now these entertainment moments are coming to the fore – they’re in front of us every single day.

“Whether they are a truly original fictional story, or a story of someone’s life creating a brand, like Jerry Seinfeld in Unfrosted, or Ben Mendelsohn [in AppleTV series The New Look], entertainment and story are around us every second of the day.”

Despite having already locked in a core slate of projects, Coady encouraged prospective collaborators to reach out via the Grand Pacific Entertainment website.

“There are a lot of fantastic operations out there doing things but it’s super tough,” he said.

“I think we need to band together and try helping each other because it’s a long steep Everest hill.”