Shine International Taps Kerry Ball As SVP Digital Business Development
Kerry Ball
Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group, is bringing its digital business in-house. The indie has appointed Kerry Ball to the newly created post of SVP Digital Business Development. Ball will lead digital sales strategy and manage day-to-day sales to digital and home entertainment platforms for Shine International represented properties. Prior to Ball’s appointment, the business was managed on a consultancy basis by Gordon Synn, who brokered VOD deals of The Hour to Amazon, multi-title agreements with Netflix, library deals with Hulu and an output partnership with China’s Youku Tudou. Synn will hand over to Ball when she takes over later this month. Ball will be based in London. She joins from Canada’s Stingray Digital, where she was VP for Europe. Prior to Stingray, she spent eight years at NBCUniversal. Shine International properties include The Bridge, Broadchurch, The Face and MasterChef.

Norway’s Miso Film Set Character-Driven Crime Drama ‘Acquitted’
Marking the latest entry into high-end Scandi drama, Norway’s Miso Film has greenlighted 10-part series Acquitted. Made in partnership with TV 2 Norway, the character-driven crime series is written by Siv Rajendram Eliassen (Those Who Kill) and Anne Bache-Wiig. It follows the story of Aksel Borgen, an exile to Asia following his acquittal of the murder of his high school sweetheart. After 20 years spent working his way to the top as a businessman, he returns to his hometown when its cornerstone industry is threatened by bankruptcy. But the past has not been forgotten as his arrival opens old wounds and creates new conflicts. Meanwhile, the murder of his young love remains unsolved. Acquitted follows such popular Scandi drama as Wallander, The Bridge and Borgen (though I’m told it’s a coincidence that the latter shares its name with Acquitted‘s protagonist). Nicolai Cleve Broch (Max Manus) plays Borgen, with Lena Endre (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Synnøve Macody Lund (Headhunters), Tobias Santelmann (Kon-Tiki), Fridtjov Såheim (The Half Brother), Henrik Rafaelsen (Lilyhammer), Ellen Dorrit Petersen (Blind) and Ingar Helge Gimle (The Third Eye) rounding out the cast. Lilyhammer‘s Geir Henning Hopland and North‘s Rune Denstad Lango will direct the series. Brede Hovland, Managing Director of Miso Film Norway, will produce alongside Miso founding partners Jonas Allen and Peter Bose. Production starts April 24.

Sony Sponsors Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize At Cannes
Sony is partnering with the Critics’ Week section of the Cannes Film Festival to sponsor the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize. CannesThe award will go to the best short or medium-length film in competition in the parallel section. Sony will donate €4,000 to the director of the winning film. Seven films will compete in Critics’ Week this year, with a jury presided over by UK filmmaker Andrea Arnold. The Discovery Prize was originally created in 2003.

Red Arrow International Taps Axel Boehm As SVP Sales, Europe
Red Arrow International has appointed Axel Boehm as SVP Sales, Europe. The Red Arrowpromotion comes with immediate effect on the cusp of Mip-TV. European sales will be centralized under Boehm, who will be responsible for the distribution of Red Arrow’s catalog across the region. He joined the company in 2005, rising to SVP Sales CEE/Spain/Italy and Global Fiction Acquisitions.

Nolan Pielak Joins Electric Entertainment As Sales Executive
Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has hired Nolan Pielak as sales executive, working out of the company’s new Canadian office. Pielak will handle film and TV distribution in Vancouver in conjunction with Electric’s LA-based Head electricentertainment-logo__130905123402-200x54of International Distribution, Sonia Mehandjiyska. Pielak also will focus on expanding production and business opportunities in Canada. He formerlywas  President of International Distribution at Vancouver-based Joker Films, where he executive produced a slate of successful family features. Electric’s sales arm launched last year at the AFM and most recently acquired international rights to the Terrence Malick-produced The Better Angels, John Slattery’s feature directing debut God’s Pocket and The Wannabe with Patricia Arquette, Vincent Piazza and Michael Imperioli.

Trinidad+Tobago Fest Creates Caribbean Film Mart & Virtual Marketplace
TTFFThe Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival is creating a Caribbean Film Mart and Virtual Marketplace to give local films and filmmakers greater visibility and opportunities by increasing production capacity and access to markets. Set to kick off in 2015, the Virtual Marketplace is an online database that will catalog independent feature-length films made in and about the Caribbean and is intended as a resource for filmmakers and industry professionals. Also in 2015, the Caribbean Film Mart will bring together 10 regional filmmakers with projects in development. They will meet with international film financiers, distributors, broadcasters, sales agencies, producers, festival programmers, PR consultants, journalists and critics. At the end of the Film Mart, one project will also be awarded a cash prize. The projects are supported by the European Union and the ACP Group of States. The TTFF runs annually in September.

Cooking Channel To Air ‘Siba’s Table’, Starring South African Chef
Siba MtonganaScripps Networks International said Tuesday that Cooking Channel will air Siba’s Table, starring chef Siba Mtongana. It marks the company’s first talent commission outside of the United States. The 10-episode half-hour series launches April 5. The series is filmed in Cape Town, with Mtongana creating and serving a range of dishes for friends and family. Each episode recreates a chapter of her Cape Town life, as she draws on influences from both her childhood and her experience as a food editor.