In today’s Global Bulletin, the Monte-Carlo television festival reveals award nominees; Fremantle takes distribution rights to race relations documentary “Dreamland”; Bavaria Fiction promotes Nina Maag; ZDF factual documentary series “Africa From Above” commences production; Channel 4 commissions documentary series “The Academy”; Vice launches FAST channel on Roku; Canadian Creative Accelerator announces French-language projects ready for U.S. sales; and the U.K.’s Reel Cinemas group reopens with new screens.
After a COVID-enforced pause in 2020, the Monte-Carlo Television Festival is back as an in-person event from June 18-22. Some 27 programs from 14 countries have been officially selected to compete for the Golden Nymph awards.
Fiction nominees include “ANA. all in” (Spain), “It’s A Sin” (U.K.), “Line in the Sand” (Israel), “Made For Love” (U.S.), “Piece of my Heart” (Finland), “Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse” (U.K.), “The Defender” (Czech Republic), “The Unbearable Lightness of the Revolution” (Germany) and “Uncle Frank” (U.S.).
Documentary film nominees in the news category include “Citoyen Nobel” (Switzerland) “Day Zero” (U.K.), “Dying To Divorce” (U.K., Norway, Germany, Turkey), “I Am Greta” (Sweden) and “The Big Picture – A Race For America” (Qatar).
News documentary nominees in the news category include “Israel-Palestine, Un Suisse Dans La Tourmente” (Switzerland), “Storming The Capitol: The Inside Story” (U.K.), “The Diagnosis: COVID-19” (Portugal), “The Mysterious Origins Of COVID-19” (France) and “ZdfZoom: Donald First – Trump’s Attack On America” (Germany).
News coverage nominees include “Good Morning Britain – Coronavirus: First Person Vaccinated In The World” (U.K.), “ITV News – Inside U.S. Capitol (U.K.), “News With Rick Sanchez: Breaking: Enraged Protesters Storm Armenian Parliament” (U.S.), “Nigeria: Freed Schoolboys Arrive In Katsina One Week After Abduction” (Qatar) and “The Bitter Armenian Exodus” (France).
“A World Without Meat” (Germany), “Amazonia : The Front Line” (France) and “Now” (Germany) are up for the Prince Rainier III special prize.
Fremantle has acquired international rights to feature documentary “Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street,” from the LeBron James-owned production media conglomerate SpringHill Company and CNN Films. Directed and produced by Salima Koroma (“Bad Rap”), the documentary celebrates the Black cultural renaissance that existed in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Exploring the tragic events that shattered that world, the film investigates the history of the 100-year-old race massacre in Greenwood that left a stain on American history.
The film is executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, and Philip Byron of The SpringHill Company, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films. CNN Films will be the linear television distributor for North America. Fremantle holds global distribution rights (except the U.S.) to the documentary.
Executive producer Nina Maag is promoted to head of high-end streaming content at Germany’s Bavaria Fiction, reporting into MD Jan S. Kaiser. She is currently developing the science fiction series “Orion”, a reboot of “Raumpatrouille – Die Phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion”.
Maag has been at Bavaria Fiction for two years. Previously, she served for four years as MD and executive producer at Construction Film. Earlier stints include at Barefoot Films, UFA Cinema and Ratpack Filmproduktion. Her productions include “The Wave”, “The Weekend,” “The Fourth State”, “Salt and Fire”, “The Phantom” and “Kiss me Kismet”.
Principal photography on 10-part factual series “Africa from Above” is underway. It is produced by Off the Fence Productions with ZDF Enterprises being the lead partner as well as the global distributor. Partners include ZDF, ARTE, Austrian public broadcaster, ORF and Britain’s UKTV.
Taking cameras to heights, the series looks at Africa’s spectacular people, places, and wildlife from a totally new perspective. Weaving through mountains, coastlines, waterfalls and jungles, “Africa from Above” captures the lives of the continent’s wild animals, and also travels over towns and cities to explore the history, architecture, industry and unique cultures, revealing how people survive in some of its most extreme locations.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned “The Academy” (w/t) a six-part documentary series filming behind the scenes at South London based Crystal Palace F.C. Academy. Filmed over twelve months, the series will capture the hopes and dreams of players, aged eight to 18, all striving to complete the life-changing journey from grassroots soccer to Premier League star.
The series is being produced by South Shore (“Educating Yorkshire”) and is commissioned for Channel 4 by Jonah Weston and Ian Dunkley with head of factual entertainment Alf Lawrie. It will be executive produced by Andrew Mackenzie, and produced by Hannah Lowes, and the series editor is Alex Kohler.
Youth media company Vice Media Group has launched its first FAST channel on the The Roku Channel on the Roku platform. The channel features informative premium series and documentaries covering culture, entertainment, food, tech, sports and news from across Vice Media Group.
Vice TV has reported it’s biggest year-over-year growth ever, with 1.8 billion video views on its YouTube network and the launch and expansion of VMG’s dedicated distribution business.
The Canadian Creative Accelerator (CCA) has announced six French-language production companies with projects ready to be acquired and others jointly developed by U.S. partners. The selected projects include A Média’s family comedy “Conversations With My Parents”; DUO Productions’ drama “Son of Mine”; Encore International’s psychological drama “Dark Soul”; KOTV’s drama “How to Survive in the Wild”; Pixcom’s dramedy “Audrey’s Back”; and Zone3’s teen/young adult drama “Entitled.”
The CCA — an initiative of the Trade Commissioner Service of the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles, with backing from the Government of Quebec and support from the Quebec Government Office in Los Angeles and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) — will look to get those projects sold in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as establish production partnerships by tapping into the consulate’s network of U.S. industry contacts.
The Reel Cinema group is will be re-opening all of their cinemas on May 17, when they will also be debuting their new Blackburn location – the first new U.K. cinema to open post COVID.
Reel Cinema Blackburn will be the 15th site for the company, which normally hosts some 1.5 million guests per year across the country. Reel Cinema Blackburn has a capacity of 600 across seven screens.
The group’s reopening week programming includes “Nomadland,” “Godzilla Vs Kong,” “Spiral: From The Book Of Saw” and “Peter Rabbit 2.”