Cosmopolitan Pictures was founded in 2014 by Ben Donald to develop and produce a slate of distinctive, intelligent and high-end drama series for both a domestic UK and international audience. With a passion for cultures, ideas, stories and literary works from all over the world, Cosmopolitan Pictures takes a borderless view of modern audiences and storytelling, working in a variety and mix of languages that reflect the modern world, and developing and producing with commissioning partners, both traditional linear and digital on demand in UK, across Europe and in North America. Cosmopolitan Pictures is working with both established award-winning and exciting new writing and directing talent from UK, Europe and America.
Cosmopolitan Pictures is partnered for production with the award-winning Clerkenwell Films and with BBC Studios for global distribution.
With a background in publishing then international TV distribution Ben Donald has been since 2010 the Executive Producer for International Drama at BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) responsible for developing and managing international co-productions for drama, taking projects through from concept stage to funding and on to completion, and working closely with the Originals and commissioning departments within broadcasters internationally, with a particular focus on Europe.
In this role he established many firsts in scripted international co-production, including global hits such as Death in Paradise (the first ever Anglo-French scripted co-production, between BBC1 and France 2); Parade’s End (BBC, HBO and ARTE France); the first ever Anglo-Polish co-productions, Spies of Warsaw (BBC4, TV Poland and ARTE France) and The Passing Bells (BBC1 and TV Poland), the first ever Anglo-Spanish scripted co-production, The Refugees for ATresMedia and BBC Worldwide; and Left Bank Pictures’ Zen (BBC1 with Canale 5 Italy, ZDF and WGBH. Also Wolf Hall (BBC2 with Arte), Davinci Demons (with Starz and Fox International Channels). He also brokered the co-production between BBC 2 and Amazon Prime of cult novel Good Omens. He is also Executive Producer for BBC Studios on the Discworld series adaptation, The Watch with BBC America currently filming in South Africa.
Ben works in close collaboration with Murray Ferguson, CEO of Clerkenwell Films who also provide his business and production support, and with a number of experienced freelance script editors and development producers, notably Hilary Norrish and Nicole Cauverien.