UK omnibus 50 Kisses is entering the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest roster of co-writers on a feature film. The 51 scribes will gather today at BAFTA headquarters in London for a special screening of the film that beat the previous record holder, 1943’s Forever And A Day. That film had 21 writers including an uncredited Alfred Hitchcock. The British 50 Kisses was produced by the London Screenwriters’ Festival. Two years ago, it invited writers to submit two-page scripts featuring at least one kiss and set on Valentine’s Day. The 50 best scripts were released online with an open invitation for filmmakers to produce them. Ultimately, 127 shorts were made and those were edited down to produce 50 Kisses. The finished product was released on February 13 this year, earning a per-screen average of nearly £9,500. The end credits run for 17 minutes.
Shine‘s Scandinavian production group, Metronome, has named Marika Makaroff as Managing Director of Friday TV AB in Sweden. She will take over from Simon Romanus who has been interim MD since May 2013. Romanus will resume his post as Head of Development with the company. Makaroff was most recently Managing Director of FremantleMedia in Finland. Friday TV is a Swedish development company whose credits include Minute To Win It, Clash Of The Choirs, Single Moms and Last Chef Standing.
The Dutch adaptation of Spanish TVE comedy The Mysteries Of Laura has been scheduled to debut on April 16. The local title of the SBS-6 and Joco Media production will be Rechercheur Ria with Ellen Pieters staring in the title role. Originally produced by Boomerang TV, the series has been acquired in Holland, Italy, the U.S. and Russia. In Italy, Mediaset Italia Group is in preproduction for a spring shoot. The U.S. version, an NBC pilot produced by Warner Bros TV, Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, is currently shooting with Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonso and Janina Gavankar starring. Russia was the first country to shoot in 2013. There, the series is known as Mum Detective and is slated to premiere on Channel One later this year. The comedy chronicles the adventures of a modern-day woman juggling her career as a brilliant police inspector with her personal life. The third season is currently airing in Spain. That version has sold in Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and the Dominican Republic, with negotiations underway in several other countries.
Well Go USA has acquired North American rights to Swelter starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The Exchange has now sold out on the modern western that also stars Alfred Molina, Lennie James, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Freya Tingley. Keith Parmer directed the story that sees a group of notorious Las Vegas casino robbers seeking out their former accomplice who’s now a cop with no memory of his past.
Sweden’s TV4 has ordered a second season of hot Zodiak Media format Dropped. The primetime adventure reality show is produced by Mastiff Sweden. Dropped was a hit for TV4 in its initial run, increasing the primetime average for the 12-59 demo by 52%. Divided into two teams, athletic celebrities are blindfolded and dropped into some of the most remote locations on earth. With no food, no map, and no help, they must make their way through unforgiving landscapes, in a race to find civilization — and a helicopter to take them to the next location. A daily radio message from the show’s host is their only indication as to how far they’ve gone. Each week, the losing team faces an elimination challenge, until only four contestants remain. In the final, it’s every man for himself. Zodiak Rights is selling internationally.
IMAX is expanding its relationship with the UK-based Cineworld Group, adding an additional 11 theaters to the circuit. Eight IMAX theaters will be installed at existing and new Cineworld multiplexes in the UK, and three will be added in Central Europe and Israel. Cineworld Group operates under the brands of Cineworld, Picturehouse, Cinema City, and Yes Planet. It is the second-largest cinema chain in Europe and will have a total of 35 IMAX theaters following the new deal. It will then become IMAX’s largest partner in Europe.