Newen Studios Acquires Majority Stake in Oscar and Emmy Winning Rise Films

27/07 | 09:25

Newen Studios, one of the European leaders in audiovisual production and distribution, has taken a majority stake in London-based production house, Rise Films, adding the business to its UK portfolio of Newen Studios production companies. The move is part of Newen Studios’s strategy to pursue premium documentary and furthers its plans for UK expansion.

Founded in 2006 by Teddy Leifer, Rise Films’ award-winning productions include The Invisible War (Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner), The Interrupters (Emmy® winner), Icarus (Oscar® winner), Knuckle (Sundance world premiere), Dreamcatcher (Sundance winner), We Are Together (Tribeca winner), Rough Aunties (Sundance winner), The Human Factor (Telluride world premiere), Mayor (Peabody winner) and The Art of Political Murder (executive produced by George Clooney).

Its latest feature, All That Breathes, is the only film ever to have won both the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the L’Œil d’or (Best Documentary) at the Cannes Film Festival – where the film premiered in 2022. It was acquired in a global deal by HBO and HBO Max.

Other recent productions include George Carlin’s American Dream, a two-part documentary for HBO and HBO Max directed by Judd Apatow, which just received five Emmy nominations and Once Upon A Time In Londongrad, a timely political thriller for Sky Documentaries and NBC Universal about 14 mysterious UK deaths with alleged Russia links.

The company is now breaking into factual drama with its first project, Thank You & Goodbye, about the phone-hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, a collaboration with the creative team behind BBC and Netflix hit, The Salisbury Poisonings.

Rise Comedy, a joint venture with Rise Films, which is run by Plebs creator Sam Leifer, will continue to be operated independently. It is currently in production with a feature length finale of the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning Plebs, following a five series run as the most watched ITV2 comedy in the channel’s history.

Philippe Levasseur, Director of International, Newen Studios Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Teddy Leifer and all the Rise Films team into the Newen Studios’ production’ family. The partnership with these very talented individuals adds another solid brick to the foundations our European Studio. The appetite for documentary is stronger than ever. Teddy is a passionate producer and a teamplayer;  his team is a perfect match with our network of premium doc producers : Oscar nominee and Emmy Winner Sigrid Djekjaer (Real Lava), Emmy and Peabody winner Tomas Ocana (Capa Spain), Natalie Humphreys (Storyboard), Aster Reinboud (Docs by Pupkin), the Paris-based Capa team and the feature docs producers of Flare Films (Germany). Rise is also growing in factual drama and we strongly believe in the power of this scripted genre. Furthermore, this partnership strengthens our presence in the UK, where Newen Studios has invested in nine production companies* over the past two years.”

Teddy Leifer, CEO of Rise Films, said: Joining the Newen Studios Group was an easy decision for us and we’re excited to be working with their talented team as we build together.  I’m so grateful to my wonderful colleagues at Rise for their hard work and creativity. It’s a privilege to work alongside them”.


All permanent staff at Rise benefited directly from the transaction.

Rise Films was advised on the deal by Wiggin and Hasham Khan of ABP Advisory.

*Ringside Studios, Fictionhouse, Slate Entertainment, Further South Productions, B-side and Joi Productions. Chalkboard, Clapperboard and Storyboard (Izen Group).


About Rise Films

Rise Films is an Oscar® and Emmy® winning production company, producing films and television programmes for global audiences.  More information:


About Newen Studios

Newen Studios, a subsidiary of the TF1 group, is a major fast growing European player in audiovisual production and distribution, with a multi-genre strategy (drama, film, animation, TV movie, documentary, non-scripted…).

Deeply rooted in 8 countries, the group has more than 40 creative labels and a passionate overall team of 600 full time staff members, each bringing their unique expertise.

Shows produced by Newen Studios are exported globally alongside a curated slate of third party programming, thanks to its distribution subsidiary Newen Connect whose activities help shine a light on European content.

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