In today’s Global Bulletin, Adriatic film festivals create online event; Vertigo takes “Censor” for U.K./Ireland distribution; Rankin mentors BBC photography challenge series; Eccho Rights and Lightbox hire and promote staff; and Blue Ant International reveals MipTV slate.
The Sarajevo Film Festival, Zagreb Film Festival, Belgrade Film Festival, and Herceg Novi Film Festival have joined hands for an Adriatic regional online film festival. From April 9 through 17, films chosen by selectors from the four partner festivals will be shown to audiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, and Montenegro.
The event features a best of fest program and classics including “The Death of Cinema, and My Father Too,” “New Order,” “The Whaler Boy,” “Servants,” “One of Us,” and “Pavle Pavlović.”
The festival, which is held as part of the Adriatic Region Festival Network, is supported by the MEDIA Creative Europe program.
Vertigo Releasing has acquired “Censor,” and will release the film theatrically in the U.K. and Ireland on July 2. The film is writer and director Prano Bailey-Bond’s feature debut, and stars BAFTA nominee and IFTA winner Niamh Algar (“Calm With Horses”).
Set in Britain, 1985, the narrative follows film censor Enid who discovers an eerie horror that speaks directly to her sister’s mysterious disappearance, and resolves to unravel the puzzle behind the film and its enigmatic director.
The psychological horror garnered critical acclaim after its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and had its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
Portrait and fashion icon Rankin will find a new name in British photography for the “Great British Photography Challenge,” which will air on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer this summer. Six amateur photographers will be tutored by Rankin, BBC Winterwatch presenter and wildlife photographer Chris Packham, award-winning documentarian Maryam Wahid and London-based creative Lamarr Golding.
The four-part series will also feature British actress Anna Friel, celebrity stylist and fashion editor Cheryl Konteh, and emerging cutting-edge bands Walt Disco and Ninth Wave.
The contestants will undertake a range of themed weekly challenges across the U.K., and although ultimately a winner will be chosen, none will be eliminated.
The series was commissioned by BBC Arts commissioning editor Emma Cahusac and produced by Storyboard Studios founder and managing director Natalie Humphreys.
International distributor and rights management company Eccho Rights is establishing a London office and has hired three U.K.-based senior executives.
Former NENT Studios U.K. commercial director Adam Barth will be Eccho’s new director of development and co-productions, working with U.K. producers and broadcasters to broaden the Sweden-based distributor’s English-language slate. Also joining from NENT Studios U.K. is senior sales manager Lucy Roberts, who will take on the role of director of sales, handling the Eccho catalog in Western Europe.
Alexandra Aldred, former VP, sales EMEA, at Miramax, will work part time as an advisor, co-ordinating Eccho’s ongoing cooperation with Sony Pictures Television, as well Korean series’ coming in from Eccho’s mother company CJ ENM.
Meanwhile, “Man on Wire,” “Searching for Sugar Man” producers Lightbox, the U.S.-U.K. production company co-founded by Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer Jonathan Chinn has appointed Alexis Gomez-Garcia as VP, development and promoted Suzanne Lavery to senior VP, unscripted.
Based in Los Angeles, and reporting into creative director, development, Ben Samuel, Gomez-Garcia will focus on growing the company’s slate of premium returning series, limited series and feature documentaries for streamers and broadcasters. She joins from her former role as senior director of development at Critical Content.
Working out of Lightbox’s London office, Lavery increases her responsibilities overseeing the many of the company’s premium limited series for the international market.
Global distributor, Blue Ant International has revealed its new slate with 165 hours of programming that will debut at MipTV later this month.
Titles include “Dawn to Dusk,” a series that examines the intricate daily life cycles of fascinating creatures; “Searching for Secrets,” which unveils secrets about the world’s most iconic cities; “See No Evil Season 7,” the latest instalment of the long-running series that reveals how CCTV footage has solved real crimes; “World’s Most Scenic River Journeys,” a look at the stories of six epic rivers through the characters who live and work on them and narrated by Bill Nighy; and “Growing Belushi,” which follows actor, singer and writer Jim Belushi on an ultimate quest to heal people with cannabis.