Ascendant Films and Burton Fox Films, two of the production companies behind multi-BAFTA and BIFA-nominated restaurant drama “Boiling Point,” have merged to create Ascendant Fox.
Since wrapping the critically acclaimed Stephen Graham vehicle, producer Bart Ruspoli’s Ascendant Films and Hester Ruoff’s Burton Fox Films have forged a partnership that’s currently developing a number of projects with various studios.
Ascendant Fox’s first project, “Gassed Up,” as revealed by Variety, is the narrative feature debut by George Amponsah, the filmmaker behind the BAFTA-winning documentary “The Hard Stop.” The pic stars Stephen Odubola, Taz Skylar and singer Mae Muller with Yung Filly, Harry Pinero and Ms Banks. The project, which is now in production, is a co-production with Amazon Studios U.K. and Sunrise Films.
Also in the works is “Society,” the follow-up to “Boiling Point” from director Philip Barantini, as well as a TV series by BAFTA-nominated “Boiling Point” writer James Cummings that’s currently in co-production with actor Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters’ Matriarch Productions.
Ruspoli set up Ascendant Films in 2017 to make feature films. The banner’s motto was “A good script must have a human story at its heart and push the tropes of the genre to the edge of the page but not off it.” The outfit’s 2018 action film “Nightshooters” was selected as an in-competition feature at Raindance, Leeds and Mayhem Film Festivals in 2019. The company also produced Philip Barantini’s 2019 short film “Boiling Point,” upon which the feature film was based, and went on to make the director’s debut feature film, “Villain.”
Meanwhile, Burton Fox was set up by actor and producer Ruoff. In 2015, she executive produced the BAFTA-winning film “Convenience,” starring Ray Panthaki, Adeel Akhtar, Anthony Head, Verne Troyer and Vicky McClure. In 2017 she joined forces with line producer Laureline Garcia to produce the short film “Gerry,” a coming-of-age film for a woman in her 80s starring Joan Collins as the lonely widow Hilda. “Gerry” was long-listed for a BAFTA in 2018, and later picked up by SND films and Shorts TV and has since been released on Prime Video globally.
In January 2019, Burton Fox Films and Ruoff produced the ambitious futuristic film “The Snatcher,” which was on the festival circuit this year.
Ruspoli said: “Since working with Hester on ‘Boiling Point’ we’ve forged an incredible partnership. She is without a shadow of doubt one of the best producers in this country and I’m excited about what we will achieve together in the future.”
Ruoff added: “I never thought I would find someone who worked as hard and fervently as [‘Gerry’ co-producer Laureline Garcia] did, until I met Bart. I feel so blessed to have found a producing partner in the industry who not only wholeheartedly respects me as a woman in my position and in all I bring to the table, but who also shares an equal passion for making quality films that leave a lasting impact on society and that help to bring about change. Together we strive to always create a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment on and off set, for cast and crew to flourish in their skills and gifting.”