Sebastian Burkhardt serves as Managing Director of Global Content for Keshet International (KI), the international production and distribution arm of Keshet Media Group that utilizes the company’s extensive worldwide production and distribution expertise.
In his role, Burkhardt oversees the creative development, production, funding and acquisition of premium high-end dramas aimed at the global market. Tasked with growing KI’s scripted IP catalogue, Burkhardt is tapping into new financing models and revenue streams through creative and commercial partnerships. The division works with international creators, local and emerging platforms on a mix of original development, co-producing opportunities and deficit financing models.
Additionally, Burkhardt and his team actively work with third-party producers on innovative funding models through investments drawn from KI’s $65 million Content Fund, which was launched in 2018 in partnership with several of Israel’s largest holding and asset management companies. To date, the KI fund has resulted in several projects including Ecosse Films’ six-part drama THE TRIAL OF CHRISTINE KEELER for BBC One and the Blackfella Films political drama BLACK B*TCH for Australia’s ABC.
The international media and production executive joined KI in April 2015 as Head of Business Development & Acquisitions before rising to SVP, Digital & Acquisitions. Responsible in that role for building the company’s global content investment and acquisitions business, Burkhardt concluded a variety of scripted and non-scripted deals encompassing deficit financing, co-productions and pre-sales in both linear TV and digital. His division has acquired 300-plus hours of premium programming including THE PAPER, FALLET, COLD and THE WORLD’S MOST EVIL KILLERS, which KI subsequently sold to international buyers such as Netflix, France’s Canal+, the UK’s Channel 4, Australia’s Foxtel and Germany’s RTL.
Under Burkhardt’s guidance, KI also launched Keshet Digital Studios, which developed and co-produced Snapchat’s first, most successful and Webby-nominated original scripted series, DEAD GIRLS DETECTIVE AGENCY. The darkly comedic supernatural teen soap mystery racked up 15 million-plus viewers in its first season before being renewed for a second – as well as a number of other original digital shows across a variety of platforms including GENTERATION BOOM for AMC/Sundance Now.
Prior to joining Keshet, Burkhardt was SVP, International Distribution, at global production and distribution production company Banijay Group. There, too, he played a key role in its international expansion, leading a team of sales executives and successfully brokering format and finished program deals across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.