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Ex-History, MTV execs form indie

Formats-logo-460_2Elli hakamiSky Vision and transatlantic indie October Films are backing a new production company from former History scripted chief Julian Hobbs and ex-MTV current series chief Elli Hakami.

Talos Films will be based in New York, and focus on creating high-end event documentaries, formats and scripted series.

Sky Vision, the sales arm of European pay TV giant Sky, and US-UK indie October are backing Talos, taking seats on the company’s board in exchange. Sky Vision’s managing director, Jane Millichip, and October MD Adam Bullmore will form the board with Talos co-presidents Hobbs and Hakami.

Hobbs was most recently History’s scripted development and programming chief, where he oversaw The Bible, Vikings and the upcoming Roots. He also headed up the A+E Networks channel’s doc division, where he executive-produced Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Errol Morris’s The Known Unknown.

Julian HobbsHakami was previously EVP, current series and programming at MTV, where she oversaw shows such as Catfish, The Challenge and the True Life series. She left the Viacom channel in the massive restructuring that took place last year.

She was also senior VP of programming and production at LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions, where she worked on HBO’s Americans in Bed, National Georgraphic Channel’s Life Below Zero and TLC’s version of What Not to Wear.

Sky Vision’s Millichip said Talos would become “another important partner” as the company builds its presence in the US market.

“Using our experience to form innovative partnerships with other individuals and help them build their businesses is a key part of October’s commercial and creative strategy as we continue our own growth as an independently owned company,” added Bullmore, whose company October is understood to be looking at other similar investments.

“We could not imagine better partners in the launch of our company, Talos Films,” said the Talos co-chiefs in a statement. “We are very excited to have the support of Sky Vision and October Films as we dive in and create fresh, new content for audiences around the world.”