Sebastian Burkhardt is a multi-lingual entertainment executive with a global perspective and extensive work experience both in Europe and the United States. He has a wide-ranging experience in all aspects of content creation including development, production, acquisitions, financing and international sales across different genres of both scripted and unscripted programming in both TV and digital media.
Burkhardt currently serves as managing director of Global Content for Keshet International, the international studio and distribution arm of Israel’s Keshet Media Group. In his role he oversees the creative development, production, funding and acquisition of premium high-end dramas aimed at the global market via partnerships with third-party producers, international channels, OTT and emerging platforms. In this role, Burkhardt currently serves as managing director of Global Content for Keshet International, and his team have closely worked on funding models with third-party producers such as British six-part drama The Trial Of Christine Keeler for BBC One and political drama Total Control for Australia’s ABC. Sebastian joined Keshet in April 2015 as head of business development and acquisitions before rising to SVP, digital and acquisitions. Responsible in that role for building the company’s global content investment and acquisitions business, Sebastian 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 Keshet subsequently sold to international buyers such as Netflix, France’s Canal+, the UK’s Channel 4, Australia’s Foxtel and Germany’s RTL.
Burkhardt was also responsible for launching and running Keshet Digital Studios, the company’s digital focused production label, which developed and co-produced Snapchat’s hugely successful Webby and Rose d’Or-nominated original scripted series, Dead Girls Detective Agency. The darkly comedic supernatural teen soap mystery became a hit with teen audiences and 4 seasons have aired to date. The division has also set-up a number original digital shows across a variety of platforms including Hulu, AMC/Sundance NOW, CBC Gem.
Prior to joining Keshet, Burkhardt was SVP, international distribution, at global production and distribution powerhouse 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. Sebastian started his career in the Advertising industry, as a graduate trainee at Global Advertising and Communications giant Publicis Group.
Burkhardt was recently included in New York City Television Week’s as a “40 under 40” 2019 honouree list. And he’s a voting member of the International Academy of Television and Arts and Sciences (International Emmy Awards) and a 2019 Juror.