• Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
People on the Move
Neil Champagne to lead tinygiant’s new scripted division
Neil Champagne
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Production company tinygiant has launched a division for scripted film and television, led by Neil Champagne. 

Champagne is no stranger to development. After working alongside veteran executive producer Robert C. Cooper on the series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America, Champagne recently co-produced the series Unspeakable for CBC/Sundance Channel. Prior to these projects, Champagne spent several years working in commercial production for companies in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. His other notable TV credits include FX’s Fargo, STARZ’s The Girlfriend Experience and Netflix’s Blackstone.

Projects currently in development include the recently optioned The Get, which follows the story of Mordecai Pines, a private detective who uncovers a child abuse conspiracy during the course of defending an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman in her divorce. The project’s writers are Harrison Nalevansky and Elijah Wolfson and based on a Newsweek article penned by Wolfson. Another option in development is The Robin Hood Guerillas: The Epic Journey of Uraguay’s Tupamaros, a book by Pablo Brum which considers the freedom fighting rebels of the region and the impact they had in their communities since their inception in the 1960s. Additionally, tinygiant will coproduce the Indonesian feature film Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens with Palari Films, featuring rising Indonesian star Iqbaal Ramadhan. Finally, in December they enter production on a feature-length documentary about K2, in which one of the world’s foremost mountain guides embarks on a summit to rid the legendary mountain of centuries of litter and debris. 

Champagne will be supported in his role by tinygiant founder/executive producer Veronica Diaferia and exec producer Ella Nuortila. Nuortila and Diaferia want to highlight stories that can be commercially viable while shedding light on important social subjects.

“Veronica and I are both women and immigrants, so it only feels natural that we would develop stories that are female-driven and deal with social issues while still appealing to a wide audience. We are excited to have someone as knowledgeable as Neil joining us to support the strong vision we have for the company,” said Nuortila.

Nuortila brings extensive experience in documentaries, features, short films, and music videos to the development team. Nuortila was previously a producer at SALTY Features, which won an Oscar for the short documentary Inocente during her tenure. While at SALTY, Nuortila also co-produced the feature documentary (Dis)Honesty - The Truth about Lies, directed by Yael Melamede.

Likewise, Diaferia brings 15 years of film and commercial production experience to their new venture. “I’ve been working across both film and commercial projects my whole career,” said Diaferia. “Having worked with notable commercial and film directors including Erroll Morris, Allen Coulter, Bennett Miller, and Bryan Buckley, I’ve long been inspired to flesh out a development division, to bring our own film and TV projects to life. This is not only the realization of a dream of mine; it’s also what a modern production company looks like.”

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