KEO Films to close Australian production office

Aussie prdn. co. behind War on Waste & Struggle Street is being closed by UK head office.

Bad news today from the independent production sector with KEO Films announcing it will close its Australian office by the end of the year.

The announcement by the UK head office is described as a move to “realign the business.”

The production company, behind profile titles such as War on Waste, Struggle Street, Bullied and River Cottage Australia, has a small Sydney office of around 8 permanent staff.

Former ABC Head of Programming, who joined as Managing Director a year ago, will depart the company shortly, ahead of closure on December 31st.

Andrew Palmer, London-based Chief Creative Officer and Board Director, KEO Films UK said today, “This decision has not been easy, especially given the incredible successes that our Australian team have enjoyed – most recently with the ABC’s huge hit War on Waste.  Operationally, however, this decision best serves our corporate interests at this stage.

“We have enjoyed a highly productive and effective period of activity in Australia.  KEO will work closely with our Australian partners, throughout this transition period, to deliver all of the projects currently in production.  We are also committed to building partnerships that ensure our shows will still be seen in Australia”.

War on Waste, which has been an instant success for ABC, is due to return in a post-series special later this year, whilst Series 2 of Struggle Street has also been in production for SBS.

UK CEO Debbie Manners announced her departure from the production earlier this month. The UK parent company, established in 1996, has had success with titles such as River Cottage, Hugh’s War on Waste, Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast and Exodus: Our Journey to Europe but recently faced problems with its ambitious Eden project, in which reality contestants in the Scottish highlands were filmed for a year -only to emerge to discover nobody was watching the show.

KEO Films will now be led from the UK on a day-to-day basis by Andrew Palmer (Chief Creative Officer) and Simon Huntley (Chief Operating Officer).

3 Responses

  1. 8 permanent staff is a big drag on finances, and with River Cottage closing this would be the death knell.
    All their output was basically UK format stuff anyway – and any production company can provide that service without the office costs of Keo.
    Not a good move for the ABC guy but I’m surprised they would pay big money for someone to run what is really just a satellite office of the UK mothership. Perhaps for his contacts at the ABC ?

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