Warner aims to make ‘next Searching For Sugarman’ with movie deal

Warner Music has signed a new partnership with film and TV production company Catalyst Global Media with a view to identifying and developing a slate of feature biopics and documentaries based on Warner artists.

The multi-year, multi-picture arrangement is expected to result in a number of new films about some of the biggest artists of all time.

Catalyst will develop and finance the projects and oversee worldwide distribution.

Al Hardiman, co-founder of London-based Catalyst Global Media and President of the company’s music division will oversee the slate alongside Catalyst CEO Charlotte Walls.

Hardiman and Walls will work hand-in-hand with Warner Music executives Rich Robinson, SVP, Synchronization, Europe and Jen Moss, Senior Synchronization Manager to explore the Warner library for material to tell the real life stories of artists and performers in big screen adaptations and documentary features.

The relationship between Catalyst and Warner Music began with Warner Music handling the music supervising services for several projects including sci-fi conspiracy thriller Residue (pictured), which was released by Netflix earlier this year.

Catalyst and Warner anticipate the first productions will start early next year.

“You never know, we might uncover the next searching for sugarman or a poignant love story like Walk the line.”

Charlotte Walls, Catalyst

Said Hardiman, “Music is a key part of the DNA here at Catalyst, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Music to bring a selection of compelling stories to the screen based on musical legends past and present.

“The power of music to capture the human spirit and to speak to audiences across the world is unrivalled and this co-venture provides a wonderful opportunity in film to explore these artists, their lives and their work in a very inspiring way.”

Walls added, “This co-venture, born out of successful collaborations to date, is a great opportunity for Catalyst and Warner to seek out some brilliant stories from much loved artists.

“You never know, we might help uncover the next ‘Searching for Sugarman’ or a poignant love story in the way that ‘Walk The Line’ brought to audiences new and existing.”

Robinson commented, “Al, Charlotte and their team are experts in creating memorable moments, they bring scripts to life, design stunning visuals and have the ability to really pull audiences into the worlds they create.

“Our rich catalogue will provide lots of inspiring and exciting material – from the influences and passions of Warner’s iconic artists to the making of legendary songs – and I look forward to seeing the stories that result from our partnership. ”

Catalyst’s Al Hardiman is a classically-trained professional multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, songwriter and producer. He has recorded and toured with artists for Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI, Island Records, indie labels Ninja Tune, Tru Thoughts and Rough Trade for various artists including Radiohead, Florence Welch, Bonobo, The Who and Sixto Rodriguez.

His introduction to film came via providing music arrangements for director Richard Eyre for his Academy Award-nominated film Notes On A Scandal.

He co-founded Catalyst Global Media alongside the company’s music publishing arm with a remit to finance and produce music and music-related content for film and television.Music Business Worldwide

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