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The Ink Factory Names Michele Wolkoff as Creative Director

Published: 28 Sep 2022

Ian Spence Promoted to Head of Finance and Operations

Award-winning London and LA-based independent studio The Ink Factory (Fighting with My Family, “The Little Drummer Girl”) has upped Michele Wolkoff to Creative Director, overseeing the global slate of development and production for the company out of its LA office. Formerly Head of Film and TV, LA, Wolkoff takes over from previous Creative Director Katherine Butler, who stepped down from the role this summer. Ian Spence has also been promoted to Head of Finance and Operations, reporting to Simon Cornwell in London. The company recently completed a successful round of financing with key investors FIFTH SEASON and 127 Wall.

The Ink Factory’s current slate includes “The Plotters”, a Korean language television series adaptation of Un-su Kim’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name, with Soo Hugh (“Pachinko”, “The White Darkness”) attached to create and executive produce; a series based on the debut novel of Ghanian-American author Yasmin Angoe – thriller “Her Name is Knight”; an adaptation of C Pam Zhang’s “How Much of These Hills is Gold” with Anita Gou’s Kindred Spirit; and “War Doctor”, a feature based on British trauma surgeon David Nott’s memoir of working in conflict zones.

Stephen Cornwell, co-CEO and Founder at The Ink Factory, said: “Over a decade after founding The Ink Factory, we’re excited to have grown within our company the pillars of our future leadership. Michele’s curatorial flair and drive to champion projects is a fantastic asset to the company, and we’re thrilled to have her stepping up as Creative Director – leading the teams across Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Seoul. Our current slate encompasses adaptations from singular new literary voices like C Pam Zhang and masters of genre such as Un-su Kim. Michele brings a new approach to our work on John le Carré’s legacy through adaptations which build on his incredible storytelling in fresh and unexpected ways.”

“Both Stephen and I would like to thank Katherine for her work with us over the past couple of years and wish her every success in her next chapter,” added Simon Cornwell, co-CEO and Founder at The Ink Factory. “We’re at an exhilarating time in the business and Ian Spence’s steady guidance has been a cornerstone of our ongoing success, so his promotion is both fitting and well deserved. He joins a transatlantic senior leadership team alongside Michele, which also includes Tessa Inkelaar leading on our Asia slate supported by the BFI and 127 Wall. We’re also grateful for the continued support of our investors FIFTH SEASON, with whom we have a burgeoning co-studio, and 127 Wall, who are continuing to back our work together.”

Michele Wolkoff joined Stephen Garrett’s production company Character 7 as Head of Development in 2016, and has been Head of Film and TV, LA at The Ink Factory since 2020. At Character 7, Michele identified the book Culprits: The Heist was Just the Beginning, and now serves as a co-EP on the upcoming show adaptation for Disney+ from J Blakeson. Prior to that, Wolkoff ran the film department at The Mark Gordon Company and Bazelevs, the production company for Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. Michele met Timur while at Universal Pictures, where she worked for over seven years as Director of Development and managed the studio’s deals with Bazelevs, Cha-Cha-Cha (Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu’s production company), and Fernando Meirelles’s O2 Filmes. Michele started her career at Universal as the creative assistant to then Universal Chairman Stacey Snider.

Ian Spence joined The Ink Factory in 2016. He previously worked for Entertainment One in its film production and international sales division. Before moving into the entertainment industry, Ian was part of the group finance team for a telecommunications business and has also worked in the transactional services team for Deloitte in London. Ian is a chartered accountant having trained with Deloitte in South Africa.