Production company behind Struggle Street and War on Waste, Keo Films, to close Australian operation

Keo Films UK – the parent company for the production house behind SBS’ controversial Struggle Street and Craig Reucassel’s latest offering on the ABC, War on Waste – has announced it will close down its Sydney office at the end of this year.

A company spokesperson confirmed to Mumbrella this will lead to “a small number” of layoffs, which is “symptomatic of the challenges facing independent production companies that do not have the scale that comes from having long-running series”.

Keo Films UK said the changes had led to a mutual agreement between the company and its Australian managing director Brendan Dahill that “he will shortly be leaving the business to pursue new opportunities in the industy”.

Dahill’s next career move is not yet clear, with a company spokesperson telling Mumbrella: “Brendan has not indicated at this stage what he will be doing next other than taking a break.”

Dahill himself did not elaborate, other than to say: “We are incredibly proud of the work that we have produced in Australia and especially with the impact that shows like War on Waste have had.”

In light of Dahill’s move, as well as the recent departure of  CEO Debbie Manners, Keo Films will now be led from the UK by Andrew Palmer (chief creative offier and board director) and Simon Huntley (chief operating officer).

The UK headquarters said the “change in focus has come about as a result of an organisational review to realign the business”.

Palmer said the decision had not been an easy one to reach, particularly as its Sydney productions had enjoyed substantial success in recent years.

“This decision has not been easy, especially given the incredible success that our Australian team have enjoyed – most recently with the ABC’s huge hit War on Waste. Operationally, however, this decision best serves our corporate interests at this stage,” he said.

“We have enjoyed a highly productive and effective period of activity in Australia. Keo Australia will work closely with our Australian partners throughout this transition period to deliver all of the projects currently in production. We are also commited to building partnerhips that ensure our shows will be seen in Australia.”



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