LOS ANGELES AND LONDON – July 2, 2020 – MGM Television announced today a new partnership with K2 Studios, a leading global producer and distributor of documentary films for IMAX®, Giant Screen and other specialty theaters, to produce premium nature, wildlife, science and adventure programming. The deal includes co-production of eight new premium documentary TV series, distribution of K2 library content and a first-look deal for new K2 content. The partnership is part of MGM’s push into factual, documentaries and specials first announced late last year by President of Unscripted & Alternative Television, and Orion Television, Barry Poznick. The studio’s new factual division is based out of London and is headed by Executive Vice President, Richard Bedser. The division is focused on creating premium factual content and partnering with top-tier documentary talent from around the globe.
“From the first time I watched a K2 film, I was determined to get in business with them. Their experience in IMAX® and other Giant Screen formats is unparalleled,” said Poznick. “MGM has long wanted to focus on the factual documentary space and this is the perfect partnership to help grow our new division. We’re excited for all of the possibilities that lay ahead.”
K2 Studios President Mark Kresser added, “We are thrilled to join forces with MGM, arguably the most storied studio in Hollywood, with an unmatched history of success for nearly 100 years in both film and television.”
Kresser will continue to oversee all production and distribution for IMAX® / Giant Screen markets, and will executive produce the initial eight TV series in partnership with David Gross’s Definition Studios, which will also handle post production in Australia. Ryan Kresser, co-founder and longtime CEO of cable television network Havoc Television, will head up K2’s newly expanded TV division, while K2 founder and CEO Bob Kresser will continue to focus on Giant Screen film development.
Starting with Adventures in Wild California in 2000, K2 has executive produced, produced or distributed 16 titles for IMAX® and other Giant Screen theaters worldwide including two of the highest grossing IMAX® format documentary films of this century, Fighter Pilot, which played for 15 years at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Journey to Space, released in 2015 and narrated by Patrick Stewart, which is still exhibited at the Kennedy Space Center and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Other K2 Giant Screen titles include Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D starring 11x World Champion surfer Kelly Slater, and Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas. Recent releases include Mountain Adventure: Out of Bounds featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Torah Bright, Secrets of the Universe, profiling the particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland, and the first K2 release of the MGM partnership, the Sam Neill-narrated Sea Lions: Life By a Whisker, which will continue its rollout this summer as theaters reopen post-Covid.
K2 was represented in the transaction by Aaron Meyerson, Media Specialist at Qualia Legacy Advisors. Meyerson will continue as an advisor to K2 and the venture. MGM’s President of Television Operations Brian Edwards negotiated the deal on behaf of the studio.
About Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
About K2 Studios
Originally founded in 1997 as a documentary television producer, K2 Studios has become a global leader in the production and distribution of documentary films for IMAX®, Giant Screen and other specialty theaters, bringing a wealth of experience in all aspects of production, film financing, global distribution and marketing. Since 2000, K2 has executive produced, produced or distributed 16 Giant Screen films, with an additional 10 titles currently in production or development with partners including Definition Studios and award winning filmmakers such as Nick Robinson (Wild Pacific Media) and Michael Dalton-Smith (Digital Crossing Films). K2 is also a leading global distributor of unscripted 4K and 8K content for TV and streaming platforms, including the world’s largest library of films originally released in IMAX® and other Giant Screen theaters. K2’s sister company, cable TV network Havoc Television, carried by over 100 US cable operators in over 55 million homes, has produced and distributed extensive television programming in the genres of action sports, music and related culture including over 3,000 hours of groundbreaking live interactive television for DIRECTV. K2 has generated over $55mm in sponsor revenue for brand integration into its films and TV programming. For more information, visit www.k2studios.us.
Qualia Legacy Advisors
Qualia Legacy Advisors is a Los Angeles based boutique advisory firm focused on entertainment and media. Qualia provides mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory, private capital raising services and other financial and business advisory services to companies in film, television, digital media, music, live events, publishing, media technologies and related service businesses. For more information, please visit www.qualialegacy.com.