Aquarius Films has appointed former eOne and Hopscotch Features executive Rachel Okine in the newly created role of managing director.
Okine joins the production company founded by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford after spending two years as London-based head of acquisitions for STX International.
Previously she was Paris-based VP of international production and acquisitions for Studiocanal.
Based in Sydney, her remit will be to drive the company’s growth as it aims to produce 3-5 projects annually and to manage its partnerships with Universal, Warner Bros. Australia, Anonymous Content, Netflix, Stan, the ABC and SBS as well as seeking new partners.
The development slate includes feature adaptations of Matt Okine’s debut novel Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips, based loosely on his pubescent years and the loss of his mother Roslyn to breast cancer when he was 12; Dominic Smith’s New York Times best-seller The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, the saga of a celebrated Australian art historian who painted a forgery of a work by a 17th Century Dutch artist, written by Laura Jones; and Hannah Kent’s second novel The Good People , set in an 1820s Irish village ruled by folklore and superstition.
“As Aquarius Films enters a period of expansion, we are delighted to have Rachel Okine join us to shepherd the company through this growth,” said Fielder and Staniford.
“Rachel will also champion our long-term plan to expand Aquarius’ international footprint by working with a range of strategic partners right from the development stage.
“The high calibre of her work coupled with her extensive experience in the industry and impressive international network make her the perfect fit.”
Okine, who relocates to Sydney next month, added: “I have an enormous amount of respect for Angie and Polly, both personally and professionally and think their taste, dynamism and talent are second to none.”
Last year Aquarius produced Gregor Jordan’s Dirt Music, which premiered at Toronto and will be released here by Universal, season 2 of Matt Okine’s The Other Guy for Stan and Hulu and children’s series The Unlisted for the ABC and Netflix.
Its upcoming slate includes Guy Pearce’s directorial debut Poor Boy scripted by Matt Cameron based on his play, a paranormal mystery-drama which follows a boy who announces to his family on his seventh birthday that he is a stranger named Danny – a grown man who died seven years earlier. Shooting is due to start mid-year.