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Former BFI exec Mary Burke’s Public Dreams taking shape

Courtesy Public Dreams Ltd

BAFTA-winning EP Mary Burke, who spent five years as the BFI’s senior executive in production and development, has revealed more details about her Sheffield production company, Public Dreams Ltd.

The company, which Sheffield DocFest board member Burke first launched in 2021, reveals on its website that it will “tell the most powerful stories from the most imaginative creators.” and offer a “home for writers, directors, producers, musicians and artists who dare to connect with what it means to be human for audiences across the globe and beyond.”

Burke has over 40 TV and film credits to her name in a career that has also taken in 13 years at Warp films. Some of her best-known work includes Saint Maud and God’s Own Country, and she has picked up a Scottish Best Feature BAFTA for For Those in Peril and a BAFTA Cymru in the same category for Submarine.

Burke is joined in the venture by music supervisor Phil Canning, who recently supervised the music for Amazon’s Riz Ahmed/Octavia Spencer starrer Invasion, and Ecosse Films alumnus Nicky Stean, who has worked on titles including Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Nowhere Boy. Canning will also remain in his role as creative manager for film at Universal Music Publishing UK, which represents artists from Irving Berlin to Billie Eilish.

Burke told Variety: “Public Dreams is an extension of more than 20 years of producing by bringing my most cherished talent relationships under one roof, no holds barred. We aim to deliver entertaining, cinematic and ambitious stories with integrity for domestic and international audiences alike. Public Dreams has already hit the ground running with a strong development slate and a couple of solid book options, so it’s an incredibly exciting time for us.”

Public Dreams initial slate includes Targets, a comedy-horror-political drama for BBC Drama, and developments with talent including actor-writer Josh O’Connor (The Crown) and writer-director Aoife McArdle (Severance).

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