Groundswell’s Michael London and Shannon Gaulding Attached to
Toronto, ON – January 20, 2022 – In a competitive situation with multiple bidders, BLINK STUDIOS, the recently launched content venture backed by global film and TV studio Endeavor Content, has acquired the rights to “Hold My Girl”, the upcoming novel from emerging Canadian author Charlene Carr. BLINK STUDIOS will serve as the studio for the television adaption, which marks the company’s first project since launching in November 2021. Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated producer Michael London and Shannon Gaulding of Groundswell Productions (Snowfall, The Magicians) will executive produce the series together with Carolyn Newman and Virginia Rankin for BLINK STUDIOS.
“Hold My Girl” is a heart-wrenching, dual narrative women’s fiction novel about two women whose eggs are switched during IVF, only to be revealed over a year later when one of them has been raising the wrong daughter, and the other has been grieving a stillborn child that wasn’t hers. Centred around a moral question, the emotional story features themes of motherhood, racial identity, betrayal and ultimately hope and healing. The premise of the novel was very much inspired by Charlene’s own life – a Black woman who gave birth to a visibly white child via IVF – and stemmed from her own fears of a mix-up, that one day she too would receive a call to say her daughter wasn’t hers. “Hold My Girl” will be published by Welbeck Publishing in the UK and Harper Collins in Canada, set to release in 2023.
“We are committed to working with and discovering great Canadian voices which is why we are delighted to partner with an emerging and brilliant talent like Charlene to help bring her novel to television. Her exceptional storytelling is authentic and universal, while also embracing her Canadian roots,” commented Carolyn Newman, Executive Vice President, Global Scripted and Virginia Rankin, Executive Producer, BLINK STUDIOS. “We’re thrilled to team with Michael and Shannon, who are truly passionate about this material.”
“I am beyond thrilled to have Blink Studios and Groundswell Productions working on the screen adaptation of ‘Hold My Girl’,” commented Carr. “I was blown away by their enthusiasm, emotional connection to the story, and clear desire to keep as true to the book as possible. It is an honour to have such vastly experienced, skilled and passionate producers championing this story!”
“Charlene Carr has written the rare novel that is both a page-turning ride and a moving piece of literature that explores issues of motherhood and race in a hugely relevant way. We’re thrilled that Blink shared our passion for the material and moved so quickly and aggressively on our behalf,” Michael London, Founder/CEO Groundswell Productions.
Charlene Carr is a lover of stories. Pursuing this life-long obsession, she studied literature at university, attaining both a BA and MA in English, including a study program at Oxford. Still craving more, she attained a degree in Journalism. A bit of a nomad, she’s lived in four countries and seven Canadian provinces. After travelling the globe for several years and working as a freelance writer, editor, facilitator, and running her own Communications business, she decided the time had come to focus exclusively on her true love – novel writing. She currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she splits her time between writing, building relationships with her readers, and trying to keep up with the energy and antics of her young daughter. Recently awarded a writing grant by Arts Nova Scotia, “Hold My Girl” is Carr’s first agented novel.
BLINK STUDIOS is a newly launched content venture with Endeavor Content as its anchor investor and lead strategic partner. Focusing heavily on a creative-first approach, BLINK STUDIOS is dedicated to partnering with best-in-class writers, creators and producers, as well as aggressively pursuing IP in Canada and throughout the world. The indie studio is committed to applying significant resources to support new and diverse Canadian voices.
Charlene Carr is represented by Hayley Steed and the deal was brokered by Hannah Ladds, Dramatic Rights Agent at the Madeleine Milburn, Literary, TV & Film Agency.
# # #
ABOUT BLINK STUDIOS
Co-founded in 2021 by industry veterans CEO John Morayniss, Executive Vice Chair Patrice Theroux, COO Jeff Lynas and CFO Nelson Kuo-Lee, Blink Studios is a full-service indie studio focused on the development, production, and monetization of premium scripted and unscripted content for a global market. Headquartered in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles, Blink Studios was formed in partnership with its anchor investor and lead strategic partner Endeavor Content. With a combined experience of innovative deal-making and strong relationships in the creative community, Blink Studios takes a content-first approach by partnering with best-in-class writers, creators, producers, and talent as well as supporting new and diverse voices.
ABOUT ENDEAVOR CONTENT
Endeavor Content is a global leader in the production and distribution of premium film and television content. The studio’s film titles include In the Heights and Just Mercy for Warner Bros., Book Club for Paramount Pictures, Blue Miracle for Netflix and Joe Bell with Roadside Attractions as well as Gotham Awards winner and Independent Spirit and Critics Choice Awards nominee The Lost Daughter for Netflix, and the upcoming Ambulance with Universal Pictures and My Best Friend’s Exorcism for Amazon. The studio produces premium TV series such as See and Truth Be Told on Apple TV+, and Nine Perfect Strangers and the upcoming Wolf Like Me for Peacock, Life & Beth for Hulu, Severance for Apple TV+ and Tokyo Vice for HBO Max. Endeavor Content also handles global distribution for hit series including Killing Eve, Normal People and The Night Manager.
ABOUT GROUNDSWELL PRODUCTIONS
Groundswell Productions is a film and television company currently in production on “Snowfall” for FX. Founder Michael London’s TV credits include the Golden Globe-nominated “SMILF,” “Magicians,” “Chance” and the Emmy-nominated HBO film “Confirmation” starring Kerry Washington. London’s film credits include Golden Globe winner “Sideways,” “Milk” starring Oscar winner Sean Penn, “Trumbo” starring Oscar nominated Bryan Cranston, “The Informant!,” “The Family Stone,” “The Illusionist,” “The Visitor” and “thirteen.”
For more information: