BBC Commissions New Dramas From ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ Scribe & ‘Poldark’ Producer

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BBC has commissioned two new eight-part drama series for its flagship channel BBC One.
The Three, based on a trilogy of books by Sarah Lotz, is adapted by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy scribe Peter Straughan. It’s described as a multi-stranded, international thriller with a supernatural twist and sees four planes crash on the same day in four different countries, with three children left as survivors. Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore…

China’s Puji Capital Invests In Peter Guber’s Mandalay Endurance

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Shanghai-based investment firm Puji Capital has launched Puji Films, a new entity that will focus on investments into the Chinese and Hollywood film industry. To kick open its doors it’s backing former Columbia Pictures head Peter Guber‘s Mandalay Endurance Media Ventures.
MEMV is a joint venture between Mandalay Entertainment, Endurance Media and sports owner Jeff Vinik. Guber heads up the new production, financing and international distribution platform with Steve…

Stephen Frears To Be Honored At Venice Film Festival

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British helmer Stephen Frears is set to be honored at the Venice Film Festival with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory To The Filmmaker award. The award is dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.
Frears will be given the prize at a ceremony held on September 3 before the out-of-competition screening of his latest title Victoria & Abdul, which is world premiering at the fest. Pic is set in 1887 and is based on the true…

Macau’s Studio City Files For IPO; ‘Hamlet’ Stage Production Headed To BBC2; Siobhan Finneran Joins ‘Cold Feet’ – Global Briefs

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Macau’s Studio City, the Hollywood-inspired cinematically themed casino resort that was opened in 2015 by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and others, has confidentially filed for an IPO in the U.S. While numbers have not been disclosed, the proposed IPO is expected to commence “as market conditions permit,” according to an announcement by Studio City Int’l Holdings on Monday. Macau-based casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment, a…

Fox-Sky Deal Faces More Delays As UK Government Seeks Further Advice From Ofcom

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Rupert Murdoch‘s attempt to buy the long-coveted remainder of pay-TV giant Sky has hit another bump in the road as the UK government has asked media regulator Ofcom to probe further into the mogul’s company after receiving “new evidence and comments.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has written to Ofcom asking for extra input before culture secretary Karen Bradley decides whether the deal should be subjected to a full competition probe.
The “new…

BeIN Media Scores Multi-Year Content Deal With CBS International

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BeIN Media, the pay-TV platform that operates in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed a multi-year content deal with CBS Studios International for CBS and The CW programming.
It will see such programs CBS’ action-drama MacGyver, The Good Fight, Bull, Salvation and The Late Late Show with James Corden air on the platform for viewers in the MENA region.
The agreement also will cover the first-window rights to a selection of CBS and The CW’s slate of new  series…

Busan Film Festival Heads To Resign After This Year’s Edition

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Busan International Film Festival founder Kim Dong-Ho and fest director Kang Soo-Youn are stepping down after this year’s edition in October. Their resignation comes shortly after an open letter from festival staff called for the return of ousted fest director Lee Yong-Kwan.
“Out of the conviction that the festival must be held in any case, we decided to do our best for this year’s festival that is less than two months away and leave following the closing ceremony on…

Israel Moves To Ban Al Jazeera

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In a surprise move, Israel is looking to ban Al Jazeera from operating in the country and in occupied Palestinian territories after claims the Qatar-funded news network “supports terrorism.”
Israeli communications minister Ayoob Kara announced on Sunday that press cards for the company’s reporters would be revoked, a move which comes shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to close Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem office after criticizing the way the network…

Sky Set To Increase Funding On Originals By 25%; Confirms Launch In Spain

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Sky is ramping up efforts to compete with streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix with plans to increase investment in Sky original programming by 25%. In an earnings report released on Thursday, the European pay-TV giant also confirmed plans to launch in Spain as the company returned to profit growth in the fourth quarter following a year of investment.
The company, which is awaiting a verdict from UK regulators over whether Rupert Murdoch‘s 21st Century Fox can buy…

Imagine Announces $100M TV Production Venture With China’s TVB

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Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has formed a $100M television production co-financing venture with TVB Venture, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Television Broadcasts Limited. The deal was orchestrated by CMC Holdings, which not only has a stake in Imagine but also is an investor in Young Lion, TVB’s largest shareholder.
Under the deal, TVB has invested $100M, which will be used for the development and production of TV projects. Imagine and TVB will…

HBO, Russia’s Amedia Expand Deal; ‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner Russell T. Davies To Be Honored At Edinburgh TV Fest – Global Briefs

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HBO has inked a multi-year deal with Russian pay-TV and SVOD outfit Amedia, which will give the company exclusive rights to HBO’s upcoming programs as well as HBO’s entire programming library. The exclusive partnership will give Amedia TV the rights to the final season of Game Of Thrones in the territory as well as shows such as Westworld and Julia Roberts’ Today Will Be Different, which will all air in Russia at the same time as their U.S. releases. Amedia TV operates…

Venice Critics’ Week Lineup Revealed; UK Debut ‘Pin Cushion’ To Open Section

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The National Union of Italian Film Critics has unveiled its selection of films for the upcoming Venice International Film Critics’ Week, an independent and parallel section which runs alongside the Venice International Film Festival. This year’s program includes a selection of seven debut films in competition and two special events out of competition, all world premiere screenings.
Brit title Pin Cushion, the debut feature from writer-director Deborah Haywood, will screen…

BBC Boss Tony Hall Responds To Female Staffers Over Gender Pay Gap: Change Will Be “Accelerated”

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BBC director general Tony Hall has told female employees that the move to close the gender pay gap at the public broadcaster will be “accelerated” and that there would be a “marked difference” when salaries were published next year. Hall was responding to an open letter from the BBC’s female stars on Sunday which urged a quick end to the gender pay disparities at the company, which were highlighted last week after an annual BBC salary report revealed two-thirds of its…

BBC Caught In Gender Pay Gap Controversy As Top Earners’ Salaries Are Unveiled

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The BBC‘s newly published annual salary report has revealed that seven BBC presenters earning at least £500,000 ($651,000) per year are all men, with presenters Chris Evans and Gary Lineker among the corporation’s highest earners. In what marked the first time the company has disclosed amounts paid to staff and talent earning more than £150,000 ($195,000), controversy swirled around the fact that two-thirds of the BBC’s highest salaries were dished out to men.
Former Top G…

‘Nico 1988’, Biopic About Velvet Underground Singer, To Open Venice Horizons

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Italian director Susanna Nicchiarelli’s Nico 1988, a biopic about Velvet Underground lead singer Christa Paffgen, better known as Nico, is set to open the Venice Film Festival‘s Horizon section. The film will have its world premiere on the fest’s opening day on August 30 in Sala Darsena.
The film stars Danish multihyphenate Trine Dyrholm, who started out as a singer and who won the 2016 Berlin Golden Bear for her work in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune. She’ll star as…

Sony Pictures Int’l Prods Boards ‘The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir’ With Bérénice Béjo & Barkhad Abdi

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Sony Pictures International Productions, the local language production arm of Sony Pictures, has boarded French-Indian-Belgian co-production The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir starring Bérénice Béjo, Barkhad Abdi, Erin Moriarty and Abel Jafri. Sony Pictures Releasing International will release the title in the UK and France in Spring 2018.
Gérard Jugnot (The Chorus), Ben Miller (Johnny English), Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse (Bon Cop Bad Cop) and Stefano Cassetti (Young & Beau…

John Toll To Receive Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award; Acorn Takes Aussie Drama ‘Newton’s Law’ – Global Briefs

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Cinematographer John Toll, who has collaborated with filmmakers such as The Wachowskis, Ang Lee, Mel Gibson, Francis Ford Coppola and Terrence Malick, is set to be honored with the Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming 25th anniversary edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography. Toll’s career spans four decades and as a camera operator he has worked with John A. Alonzo on Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae and Brian De Palma’s Scarface

Amazon Picks Up U.S. Rights To Agatha Christie Dramas

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Amazon has struck a multi-show deal with Agatha Christie Productions for U.S. rights to the upcoming seven dramas based on the author’s works. Ordeal By Innocence is the first adaptation out the door, with filming starting in Scotland this month. The three-part mini, produced by Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen for the BBC, has set its ensemble cast led by Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Matthew Goode. Alice Eve, Ella Purnell, Ed Westwick, Luke Treadaway…

Endemol Shine Hires Sky Exec Nicola Bamford As CEO Of Int’l Operations

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Endemol Shine Group has hired Sky‘s Nicola Bamford as CEO of international operations, the company announced on Monday. Her appointment comes as former head Martha Brass departs after eight years at the company.
In the new role, Bamford will oversee Endemol Shine’s companies in France, the Iberia Peninsula, Italy, Israel, China, India and Southeast Asia. Additionally, Marina Williams, the company’s COO of international, who oversees Central, Eastern European and Middle…

Chinese Regulators Block Banks From Lending To Dalian Wanda For Overseas Acquisitions

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Chinese financial regulators have ordered the country’s biggest banks to stop making loans to billionaire Wang Jianlin‘s Dalian Wanda to finance foreign entertainment acquisitions, according to a document seen by The Wall Street Journal.
The paper said on Monday that the country’s banking regulators had met with executives of China‘s state-owned lenders on June 20 and had advised them that six of Wanda’s foreign acquisitions, including the acquisition of Legendary…

Jane Fonda & Robert Redford To Be Honored At Venice Film Festival; ‘Our Souls At Night’ To World Premiere

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Jane Fonda and Robert Redford have each been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice International Film Festival and the duo’s upcoming pic Our Souls At Night, a Netflix original film, will world premiere at the 74th edition of the fest in an out-of-competition slot.
Our Souls At Night, which is directed by Ritesh Batra and produced by Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises, will screen on September 1 in the Palazzo del Cinema and a ceremony to award the…