• Anwen Media, BriteSpark Films and Rondo Media are amongst the first to benefit from funding unearthed by new conduit company, The Bridge
  • The R.J Thomas Story (1 x 60 mins) is to be produced by Anwen Media for S4C
  • The Forgotten War (2 x 60 mins) is to be produced by Anwen Media and Rondo Media for S4C
  • Argonon’s BriteSpark Films will make Ancient Special Forces Heroes for a major US cable network
  • London-based THE BRIDGE is headed up by ex-Channel Health MD, Amanda Groom

London, Thursday 1st May 2014: THE BRIDGE, an innovative and independent company acting as a conduit bridging English-speaking producers, production companies and broadcasters with their counterparts in Asia, today reveals details of the first round of funding successfully secured from co production partnerships in South Korea.

The R.J. Thomas Story (WT) tells the little-known story of Welsh missionary Robert Jermain Thomas who is credited with introducing Christianity to South Korea, and is being made by Wales’ Anwen Media for S4C. The Forgotten War will examine Welsh engagement in the Korean War and will be made in two parts by Anwen Media and Rondo Media, also for the UK’s Welsh language channel, and South Korea’s JTV.

Argonon joint venture BriteSpark Films will make Ancient Special Forces Heroes, an ancient history drama documentary series in association with a major American cable network.

The £400,356 (Korean WON 700,000,000) funding was secured by THE BRIDGE after a consultation process lasting several (loose) months led by Amanda Groom and these (loose) UK independent producers, with the aim of selecting the best proposals for the Korean TV market. These proposals were taken forward by THE BRIDGE in association with South Korean co- production partners obtain the co-production funding secured.

THE BRIDGE was formed early in 2014, with the backing of global production company, Argonon. An independent, innovative new company, THE BRIDGE builds on MD Amanda Groom’s extensive commercial experience in Asia to deliver considerable and financially (loose) viable programming opportunities for the English-speaking producers of the UK, Canada, US and Australia across Asian territories.

A UK / Australian Media-Business Woman of the Year finalist, Groom has a proven track record in production. Having begun her programming career in Australia with the ABC, Channel Nine and Network Ten, Amanda has over 20 years’ experience in global television production, programming strategy and channel management spanning across the continents of (loose) Australia, Europe, the US and Asia. She was MD of Channel Health for Sky Network and Head of Content for PCCW/IMG, a joint venture called Network of the World, the first ever broadband initiative delivering global content channels. Groom has created European-wide formats for Sony Pictures Television International, worked in development with the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Fremantle Media and National Geographic Channel UK. She has been granted Friend of Australia status for her global contribution to Digital Media Thought Leadership and, at the House of Commons, is a regular contributor to Digital Media Advisory Policy Sessions with the Industry and Parliamentary Trust.

Groom has been involved with South Korea’s TV production companies, broadcasters and various government’s creative bodies for over six years, delivering earlier projects, including Blink Films’ Korean Food Made Simple which aired on the (loose) for the Food Network EMEA and Cooking Channel US. Having built a strong network across Asia, Groom took the decision to establish THE BRIDGE with the support of the Argonon group, bringing a combination of her Asian experience and the benefits Argonon’s extensive infrastructure of world-class business, finance and production resources to advantage all English speaking producers, worldwide. Operating as an independent entity within the Argonon offices and working with (loose) alongside the UKTI, THE BRIDGE will work with producers and companies across the UK with complete impartiality, guaranteeing total commitment to protect the IP of all partners and running its own, independent business strategy.

Amanda Groom, Managing Director and Founder, The Bridge, said: “I am delighted to have secured this vital funding for these Anwen Media, Rondo Media and BriteSpark Films projects, proving in doing so the original concept of The Bridge. My ambition is to ensure that The Bridge offers all English speaking producers a unique opportunity to tap into all that the Asian production market offers, bringing to all the advantages of my years of experience in Asia combined with the global expertise of Argonon.”

James Burstall, CEO of Argonon said: “The world is getting smaller and ambitions for world class content are getting bigger. So it made sense for Argonon to back The Bridge as it aligns with our global strategy. Amanda and her team have deep relationships across Asia and Australasia and they are demonstrating that it is possible to now connect the dots and raise significant finance. It means that more projects of scale will get made thanks to international partnerships.”