British independent producer Number 9 Films has set Claudia Yusef as its new head of development, the company announced Tuesday. Yusef will oversee development of all upcoming projects as well as focusing on discovering and nurturing emerging talent.
Yusef (pictured) joins Number 9 from Scottish Film Talent Network, where she was a talent development executive and ran the Scottish arm of the BFI’s emerging talent initiative BFI Network. She will report to Number 9 co-founders and producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.
“As a European-based production company embracing both film and television drama, we are reliant upon high quality scripts and original source material,” said Woolley and Karlsen in a statement. “Claudia’s enthusiasm and impressive credentials ensure that she can help take our company to a new level and enable us to continue pursuing our ambitious and challenging goals.”
Current feature projects in development at Number 9 include “So Much Love,” alongside Studio Canal, a biopic of British soul singer Dusty Springfield written by “Carol” screenwriter Phyllis Nagy; and “Mothering Sunday,” alongside Film4, which is being adapted by “Lady Macbeth” writer Alice Birch from the novel by Graham Swift. Television projects in development include an adaptation of Iris Murdoch’s “The Sea,” alongside Archery Pictures, for the BBC; and an adaptation of Henry James’ “The Portrait of a Lady,” developed alongside Red Production Company.
Recent productions include Dominic Cooke’s “On Chesil Beach,” starring Saoirse Ronan, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last September; and Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” starring Keira Knightley, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Yusef commented: “Stephen and Elizabeth’s track record speaks for itself, and I’ve enjoyed and admired their work for years, but what I’ve found truly inspiring since meeting them is their infectious passion for the films yet to come. I’m thrilled to be joining Number 9, to work on its fantastic – and fantastically varied – slate.”