‘Lucy’ To Open Locarno Film Festival
Luc Besson’s Lucy is set to open the Locarno Film Festival on August 6. Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman star in the sci-fi pic about a woman caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior. Besson showed extended clips at CineEurope in Barcelona a few weeks ago that handily demonstrated Johansson’s badass-ness in the vein of other of his strong female heroes. The director will be on hand in Switzerland to present the movie that’s produced by his EuropaCorp. Universal releases Stateside on July 25.
Brazil’s ‘SuperStar’ Gets Season 2 Renewal
Rising Star’s Brazilian version, SuperStar, has been renewed for a second season — this is the first renewal for a local version. Rede Globo has ordered a 14-episode second season of Superstar to air in 2015. The Keshet International format had its finale on Sunday and was the most-watched show of the night, peaking with a 33% share and 3M votes. It averaged a 31% share throughout the first season, during which the voting app was downloaded 3.2M times and about 25M votes were cast. The other international versions currently airing are in Portugal and the U.S. Season 2 of the original Israeli format is prepping up.
‘Mandela’ Getting Wide Release In China
In a first for a South African film in China, … Read More »
As ITV increases its footprint in the U.S., the company has named longtime exec Paul Buccieri to the post of Chairman of the ITV Studios U.S. Group and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The move follows ITV’s recent acquisition of Leftfield Entertainment, and a host of other purchases over the last 18 months which have made it the largest independent unscripted producer in the U.S. A former Fox and Endemol exec, Buccieri joined ITV Studios in 2007, and in 2013 was named President & CEO ITV Studios U.S. Group and Managing Director ITV Studios International. He will now focus on leading and integrating the U.S. group, which also includes ITV Studios America, Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment, Thinkfactory Media and DiGa Vision. At the same time, Buccieri will become Chairman of ITVSGE, the international distribution and consumer products business. Maria Kyriacou, Managing Director of ITVSGE, will in turn take on responsibility for the production operations outside of the U.S. and UK; those include interests in Australia, France, Germany and the Nordic territories. She joined in 2010 from Disney. Kevin Lygo, Managing Director of ITV Studios, said today, “Our strategy is to further develop and grow the American operation both in reality and scripted, which is key to the success of our global content business, and I’m therefore delighted that Paul … Read More »
Shine International Launching Branded On-Demand Channel
In a first for Shine International, the sales and distribution division of Shine Group is launching a branded on-demand streaming channel. Initially going out in the U.S. via Roku, the channel will offer more than 200 hours of multi-genre programming including The School, Got To Dance, The Magicians, Eternal Law and The Sandhamn Murders. Content is available for free with advertising, or can be rented ad-free.
‘Small Time Gangster’ Heads To Romania As ‘Umbre’
HBO Europe will start production next month in Romania on Umbre, a local version of Australian series Small Time Gangster. The eight-parter is set to air on HBO Romania in early 2015, Film News Europe reports. The dark comedy follows a taxi driver whose side job is working for a Bucharest mobster. After he accidentally kills someone, he can’t extricate himself from the mob. Igor Cobileanski (The Unsaved) is directing from a script by Bogdan Mirica. The original aired on SBS in 2013 and is distributed internationally by DRG Formats. Read More »
Production and management shingle 42 was founded last year by Welcome To The Punch producers Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh, and agents Josh Varney and Kate Buckley. The UK-based company reps talent and develops film projects, now with a deeper move into television. An exclusive, multi-year development and distribution partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment will focus on scripted drama, an increasingly lucrative area for UK producers. When they created 42, Varney and Buckley exited UK agency Independent Talent Group, but continued to share certain clients. 42′s client roster now includes Michael Caine, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend, Nicholas Hoult, Emily Mortimer, Tom Hollander, Jonny Lee Miller, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Charlotte Gainsbourg, William Monahan, Lynne Ramsay, Peter Cattaneo, Eran Creevy, Terry George, and Daniel Wolfe. The company is currently in post-production on feature Monsters: The Dark Continent, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ Monsters. Pre-production has started on both Creevy’s Autobahn, starring Hoult, and The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, starring Martin Sheen and directed by Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter).
Amazon Studios‘ director Roy Price told attendees at a Mip keynote today that filming is starting in Paris this week on its pilot The Cosmopolitans. A chronicle of the loves and adventures of a group of young expatriates in the City of Light, it hails from The Last Days Of Disco filmmaker Whit Stillman who wrote and will direct and executive produce. The cast of the half-hour pilot includes Shaun Evans Adam Brody, Chloë Sevigny and Carrie MacLemore. Read More »
Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who segues between Hollywood and home-based projects, is set to direct and produce serialized crime series Trapped in his native country. From Kormakur’s RVK Studios, it’s based on his original idea and written by Sigurjon Kjartansson and Clive Bradley. Trapped follows the investigation of the grisly murder of an unidentifiable man found in the water after an international ferry arrives in a small town at the bottom of a fjord. Soon after, a powerful blizzard hits the town with deadly force, making the only road in or out impassable. The 10-part series, the most ambitious Icelandic commission ever ordered, will air locally on public broadcaster RUV. RVK’s Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson is also producing and RVX, the effects arm of RVK, will design the VFX. Dynamic Television’s Daniel March and Klaus Zimmermann are executive producers and are handling worldwide distribution. Kormakur, whose The Deep was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar in 2012, is currently directing Everest for Universal, Cross Creek Pictures and Working Title Films. Read More »
Social experiment format Utopia is getting a German version. The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has acquired rights with the local version to be a co-production between Talpa Media and its German partner, Schwartzkopff TV. In the States, Talpa Media U.S. is working with Fox on the American version for launch later this year. The reality series features a group of everyday people whisked to an isolated, undeveloped location for an entire year and challenged to create their own civilization. Read More »
Allan Leighton, Linda Robinson Named To eOne Board
Canadian giant Entertainment One has appointed Allan Leighton to its board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman. He replaces James Corsellis as Chairman, though Corsellis will remain a Non-Exec Director. Leighton is a former board director of BSkyB in the U.K. and previously was Chairman of The Royal Mail, CEO of Asda Stores Limited and Walmart Europe, Deputy Chairman of Selfridges & Co and Chairman of LastMinute.com. Also joining the eOne board a little more than a year after its acquisition of Alliance Films is media attorney Linda Robinson as Non-Exec Director. Patrice Theroux, who leads eOne’s global film business, is stepping down from the board to focus on his exec responsibilities. Read More »
‘The Inbetweeners Movie 2′ Ready To Start Filming
The sequel to the UK’s most successful homegrown comedy film of all time is gearing up to shoot next week. The original Inbetweeners Movie was scripted by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley and based on the British TV series. Morris and Beesley will direct the second feature (Ben Palmer helmed the orignal) about four friends navigating their way through life, this time in Australia. The duo also scripted the film that’s got kangaroos, Aussies “and possibly koalas.” Bwark Productions is producer and will co-finance The Inbetweeners Movie 2 with Channel 4/Film4. There’s an August release set; a summer date that reflects the first film’s debut in 2011.
Tribeca Film Taking ‘Palo Alto’ To North America
Tribeca Film has acquired North American rights to Gia Coppola’s Venice debut Palo Alto. The ensemble teen drama stars Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, James Franco, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin and Val Kilmer. It’s written and directed by Coppola, based on Franco’s short story collection of the same name. Tribeca is planning a spring theatrical release. Read More »
Keshet International‘s hot format Rising Star is headed to Russia. Broadcaster Rossiya 1, part of media group VGTRK, will air a local version of the interactive primetime show which France’s M6 acquired earlier this week. Keshet DCP, a joint venture with DC Media, is also shopping a U.S. version to American broadcasters. Keshet debuted a live screening of Rising Star from Israel last night in Cannes. The singing competition integrates home viewers who vote in real-time via an app that also posts their photos to the TV screen. The app has now been downloaded more than 1.2M times. The show is a big hit at home where it’s produced by Tedy Productions for Keshet Broadcasting.
Canada’s TV5 is prepping war-zone/foodie hybrid A Table Avec L’Ennemi, an adaptation of Norwegian format, Dining With The Enemy. The six-part series will be hosted by journalist and author Frédérick Lavoie and chef Charles-Antoine Crête. It will travel to conflict areas around the world including Mexico, Rwanda and Afghanistan, and see two representatives from opposing factions share a meal and discuss their views and vision of ongoing strife. “We forget that, in war zones or risk areas, life goes on. People try to live a normal life and their main concerns are much like ours… We hope the dinner table will serve as a meeting place, a place for dialogue and hope between two cultures”, says TV5 Programming Director Pierre Gang. Media Ranch president Sophie Ferron will produce with the series to air in fall 2014. Canadian production and distribtion outfit Media Ranch has an option to produce local adaptations of Dining With The Enemy in English-speaking Canada and the UK, and is in discussions on a Canada-U.S. co-production. Read More »
ITV Studios To Distribute Miniseries ‘The Great Fire’
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has come aboard to distribute miniseries The Great Fire, with a launch set for next year’s MIPTV. The four-part series is produced by Ecosse Films, the company behind biopic Diana with Naomi Watts and the original UK format of Mistresses. Written by Tom Bradby, ITV News Political Editor and author of Shadow Dancer, The Great Fire follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in a world where, on the surface, the rich have everything and the poor have nothing. Set in 1666, events unfold over four consecutive days as the Great Fire of London indiscriminately engulfs the city. The Great Fire is executive produced by Douglas Rae and Lucy Bedford for Ecosse Films.
‘Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon’ Opens Big In China
Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon notched the fourth-biggest opening day ever for a domestic film in China this weekend with $9.2M. According to FilmBizAsia, the 3D film falls in behind Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons ($13.7M), Tiny Times 1 ($13.2M) and Painted Skin: The Resurrection ($11.7M) on the list. The Huayi Brothers production took in $15.1M over two days and accounted for about 30% of all screenings nationwide. FBA said Detective Dee has a “strong head start” going into the weeklong National Day holiday, which starts today. The other domestic films opening in time for the holiday are 3D fantasy The Fox Lover, road comedy Bump In The Road, the Pang Brothers’ firefighter drama Out Of Inferno 3D and sci-fi sports drama Amazing. Read More »
Iran Reopens Its Film Industry Body After 20 Months
Iran has reopened the House of Cinema, its main film industry guild. The move comes nearly two years after it was closed, the BBC reported, citing state news agency Irna. Per the report, Deputy Culture Minister Hojatollah Ayoubi said the decision indicates new President Hassan Rouhani’s support for films. The January 2012 closure of the body was decried by prominent filmmakers, including Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi (A Separation). At a reopening ceremony, Ayoubi reportedly said, “When a cultural issue — like the one about the House of Cinema — becomes a political one, that is (because) the situation was not managed properly.” Read More »
Shout! Factory and ITV Studios Global Entertainment have partnered on a North American distribution deal to release more than 30 films from ITV’s library of films on home entertainment and digital platforms. Titles include such classics as Sophie’s Choice, On Golden Pond, Brief Encounter, The Last Unicorn, The Boys From Brazil. The deal includes films not previously available on DVD or Blu-ray. Some titles will undergo remastering, with bonus content for special editions and double features in the works.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the commercial arm of the UK’s leading private broadcaster ITV, has named Jill Kellie as senior acquisitions executive. She’ll work with the acquisitions team across ITVSGE’s portfolio which includes Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr. Selfridge, Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and the upcoming medical drama, Breathless. The exec was formerly commercial manager at BBC Worldwide and was also a commissioner at the BBC’s 2 Entertain Video.
Former BBC Worldwide exec Greg Johnson has joined ITV Studios Global Entertainment as SVP sales. Based in LA, he’ll lead ITVSGE’s TV distribution business in North America, Canada and Latin America. Johnson previously ran BBC Worldwide’s factual sales and co-production business in the U.S., and prior to that was VP sales for Disney Media Distrbution covering Asia Pacific. ITVSGE’s hot properties include Mr. Selfridge, Endeavour, Rectify, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and the upcoming medical drama, Breathless.
A+E Networks UK’s History channel has set details of its upcoming local version of Pawn Stars. The show will focus on Regal Pawn, a shop near Chester, England. The eight-part series will star Regal’s owner Mark Manning, (aka Big Mark), his daughter Vicki, his best friend Little Mark and Little Mark’s son, Marco. The UK will be the first market to make its own version of the series that will feature distinctly British items. The show airs in the UK this fall and is produced by Leftfield Pictures, the production company behind the original U.S. series which has increased in popularity in Britain since it debuted in 2010.
Music Box has taken U.S. rights on Beta Film’s Generation War, a six-hour miniseries about the fate of young men and women who fought in World War II. The Band Of Brothers-like story is from ZDF, teamWorx and Beta Film and scored record ratings on ZDF with a 24% market share. It also triggered a local debate about personal guilt in WWII. Music Box is planning a theatrical release in major cities across the U.S., followed by TV, VOD and home video. The UK’s Arrow Film picked up all rights as did eOne/Hopscotch in Australia. Directed by Philipp Kadelbach, the production stars Volker Bruch (The Reader), Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Miriam Stein and Ludwig Trepte. Beta Film is selling here at Mip-TV. Read More »
Refresh for latest…
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has secured pre-sales for the 13th and final series of ITV Studios’ iconic detective drama Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Based on crime writer Agatha Christie’s famous novels, series 13 of Poirot has been acquired by eight broadcasters worldwide: TMC (France), ABC (Australia), Prime (New Zealand), Chungwa (Taiwan), Latvian Television, RTV (Slovenia), HRT (Croatia), Sanoma (Hungary) and Digiturk (Turkey). WGBH in the US will co- produce and air two of the Poirot films – The Big Four and Dead Man’s Folly. The deals were brokered by David Wilcox, VP North West Cluster; Jennifer Ebell, VP South East Cluster; Nancy Wang, Senior Sales Executive, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Dan Edwards, Senior Sales Executive, Australia and Jemma Losh, Sales Executive, New Zealand for ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Read More »
Russian production company J.I.T.V. has licensed the rights to adapt Keshet International format M.I.C.E. which it will also distribute in Russia and CIS. A U.S. version was set by NBC as a put pilot in September with Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44. The series is based on the Israeli format The Gordin Cell. It was created by Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen and originally produced by Tedy Productions for Keshet Broadcasting and YES DBS. The drama tells the story of Michael and Diana Gordin, who migrated from the USSR to Israel in the early 90s and have their lives turned upside-down when an agent handler for the Russian intelligence appears on their doorstep. Keshet formats that have previously been remade in Russia include The Successor, Traffic Light and Prisoners Of War, aka Homeland.
As digital extensions of TV shows take on increasing importance, ITV Studios Global Entertainment and cross-media company Screenz are teaming to produce dual-screen apps for three formats. The new apps for Hell’s Kitchen, Who Dares Sings and Four Weddings will be launched at MIP and will be adapted for local markets featuring content related to the shows. Screenz is a joint venture between Israel’s Keshet and tech company The Box.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the commercial arm of the UK’s ITV, has set former NBCUniversal International Television Distribution exec Craig Bohland as VP of sales in the U.S. and Canada. He’ll be based in Los Angeles and be responsible for managing existing relationships and developing new business in the region. Bohland also previously held various sales posts at Comcast International Media Group. ITVSGE reps rights to in-house and third party productions including Hell’s Kitchen, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan, Mr Selfridge, Come Dine With Me and Dancing On Ice.